Why corruption in Nigeria drives people to seek bogus foreign diplomas

According to Prof. Tunde Adeniran, a former Minister of Education, the nation’s ‘endemic’ corruption is the reason why many Nigerians are eager to get fake degrees from abroad.

He revealed this in an interview with Saturday PUNCH, saying that the country has turned into a “certificate-chasing society.”

This follows a report by a covert journalist, Umar Audu, who exposed how he got a degree in six weeks after enrolling in the Ecole Superieure de Gestion et de Technologies, Cotonou, Benin Republic. He also joined the National Youth Service Corps with the certificate he obtained.

The former education minister commented that foreign universities are exploiting the corruption in Nigeria.

“They are taking advantage of the corruption in our country because they know that our system is very corrupt, so they are just tapping into it,” he said.

Adeniran deplored the widespread use of fake certificates in the Nigerian education sector, saying that the country has prioritised paper qualifications over skills, and ethical and intellectual development that come with earning a degree.

“People just say, ‘All we need is the school certificate.’ Once you show it, that’s it. All you have to do is pay or whatever, and that is weakening the education system.

“That is why we have people, who claim to be graduates, but can barely write a sentence, and who cannot draft a one-paragraph memo. That is why we are not achieving the kind of development we need,” he said.

To address the issue of fake certificates, Adeniran said that regional actors in the education sector “should collaborate and propose solutions to genuinely tackle the problem because it is not only shameful; it is harmful to our system.”

DWORLDGIST reports that the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Education, announced on Tuesday that it has suspended the recognition of degree certificates from Benin Republic and Togo.

“Some Nigerians use dishonest and immoral ways to get a degree with the aim of getting graduate jobs that they are not qualified for,” the Director of Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education, Augustina Obilor-Duru, said in a statement.

The President, National Association of Nigerian Students, Benin Republic, Ikenna Favour, said that the Federal Government should not impose a total ban on the universities, as not all of them are involved in certificate fraud.

Favour said, “We recognise the need for openness and accountability, but we want to stress that not all students in Benin Republic and Togo purchase certificates. As students, we encounter many difficulties and hurdles on our educational path.

“We value our education, spending three or more years of hard work and determination to get our academic degrees. We appreciate the worth of knowledge and the significance of earning our certificates through merit and dedication.”

Based on the data from the website of the National Universities Commission, The PUNCH noticed that 18 foreign universities were banned by the commission.



Peter Ritdung Wakkias is a Nigerian blogger and programmer, known for being the CEO of and He holds a Higher National Diploma in Computer Science from Isa Mustapha Agwai 1 Polytechnic Lafia. Based in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *