The hearts of many Nigerians are filled with anger, and there is a reaction to the action taken by the authorities on the degree certificate that is called the Cotonou degree in the country.

 The move came a few days after a journalist's investigation by obtaining a degree in less than two months, he even joined the national service with a degree from Cotonou, Benin.

Journalist doing NYSC after obtaining degree from Cotonou in six weeks.

 The investigation by the journalist of Daily Nigerian newspaper on the Internet has revealed how it is possible to buy a "degree" from the University of Benin, and this has caused the Nigerian government to stop accepting certificates of studies from the universities of Benin and Togo.

 It would have been a long time since Benin universities were accused of awarding degree certificates within a few months instead of the usual four years.

 However, the situation has become more serious in recent times, where some people get their degrees easily and in a few weeks, and this is the reason why the newspaper took the initiative to conduct the investigation.

 "In the past, if a person failed an examination or was dropped out from a university in Nigeria, it was a pity, but now while you sympathize with him you will see him joining the NYSC national service camp," said Jaafar Jaafar, president and editor-in-chief of the Daily Nigerian newspaper.

 Jaafar said that they have been conducting the research for about a year with the support of other institutions that support the work of newspapers in and outside Nigeria.

How a journalist did a 'four-year degree program' in six weeks

 In December 2022, a Daily Nigerian journalist named Umar Audu started contacting a man who is a broker who specializes in selling diplomas from neighboring countries at a "cheap" price.

 The journalist was given the option of "studying" for a year or months, and he chose months.

 "It's not a problem, we can help you if you have money," said the man. "We have done a lot for others. If you pay the money now, you can get the certificate next month."

 The person asked for the payment of the tuition fee, for the identification document, for the proof of residence in Benin, and for the stamp of the six agencies at the border of Benin and Nigeria.

 As below, the journalist received his diploma in Communication or Journalism from Ecole Superieure de Gestion et de Technologies, ESGT, Cotonou, Benin Republic on February 17, 2023.

The documents provided to him show that the journalist started his studies at a school affiliated to a university in 2018 and graduated on September 5, 2022.

According to the law, every student who has completed a bachelor's degree or a national high school diploma, must go to serve the country as long as he is not more than 30 years old at the time of his graduation.

 Every year thousands of students are screened by the agency to send them to National Youth Service Corp camps across the country, including those who have studied abroad like Benin and Togo.

 The ban announced by the Nigerian government means that all students with degrees from Benin or Togo have been banned from entering the country's service.

 In the credentials that were first sent to the journalist, his gender was wrongly stated as female, which made him request to be sent back to Cotonou to be corrected.

 "Because we don't want to have problems in the future or in sending him to national service, that's why we said that it must be corrected," according to Jaafar. "We paid for the transport and they went and brought a new result which showed that he is a male."

Certificate of the journalist 

 However, the journalist faced a problem when he submitted his residence permit in Benin (residence permit) for verification at the NYSC, where they said it was fake and they rejected him.

 "They said he had to bring his passport that shows he entered the country and left. He made the passport for this job, and he got an agent from the Nigerian Immigration Service who accepted the passport and stamped it for him that he went in and went out of the country.

 "He was stamped for entry and exit about 10 times even though he never went to the border of either Nigeria nor Benin. It was then that the NYSC allowed him to serve the country in Cross River State."

 What the NYSC officials and apparatus failed to discover is that journalist Umar had previously served the country after completing his undergraduate degree at the Nasarawa State University.

 "This shows that there is a problem on the part of the NYSC because their systems have not prevented this problem," said Ja'afar.

We have suspended Cotonou's degree pending investigation - Nigerian Government

 As a result of this report, the Nigerian government said it has taken action to stop the acceptance of degrees from universities in the Republic of Benin and Togo.

 In a statement, the spokesperson of the Nigerian Ministry of Education, Augustina Obilor-Duru, said the report revealed the ways some Nigerians are going to get a diploma with the aim of getting job opportunities they are not qualified for.

 "The Ministry of Education has complained about such behavior and from January 2, 2024, it has suspended the acceptance of degrees and diplomas from Benin and Togo until the investigation is completed," he said.

 "The investigation will involve the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria, the ministries in charge of education in the two countries, the National Security Agency, and the National Service Youth Program (NYSC)."

 The ministry called on Nigerians to contribute in providing information that will help the committee as it searches for ways to deal with this happening in the future.

 This is not the first time that the newspaper has reported on this issue, said Jaafar Jaafar, but it is only now that the government has taken action on it.

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