By Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
In continuation of activities to stop operation of unauthorised universities in Nigeria, the National Universities Commission (NUC) had sealed off a university in Delta State which had allegedly been operating illegally for four years.
The NUC also arrested the fake institution’s Coordinator and support staff.
Officials of the commission in collaboration with men of the Independent Corrupt Practices and related offences Commission (ICPC) had on Thursdaystormed the illegal university, which styled itself “World Mission University (West Africa)” with operational centre on the Old Sapele Road, Abraka, in the vicinity of the state-owned Delta State University (DELSU).
THISDAY learnt that before being shut down, the university had been functioning as a satellite campus of a foreign university based in United State of America (USA) with its African Zonal headquarters in South Africa and ran scholarship admission for a 400 level (2 year) degree and six months Diploma courses in various disciplines.
The courses offered include Nursing, Public health, Civil, Mechanical, Electrical Engineering, Management and Administration, Mass Communication, Political Science, Industrial Safety, Web designing, Computer networking, Computer Engineering and Vocational Studies.
The institution had an enrollment figure of 84 students were said to have been taught by “volunteer-lecturers” while its first graduation ceremony was slated for August this year.
One of the rooms used in the “university building” was being used for the training of nurses and other Medical Science students without the necessary equipment, the NUC discovered.
However, following a rigorous interrogation of the Coordinator, Mrs. Hannah Lucky, the NUC team carted away files, handbills, computers, laptops, admission forms and other official documents relating to the university’s operation.
According to the leader of the closure team and head of legal department of NUC, Mr. Moses Awe, the commission had monitored the activities of the institution for over six months after one of the students on admission inquired from it the genuineness of the degree awarding university.
Awe said that the claim that the institution was affiliated to foreign bodies was false and that its empowerment and scholarship programme was a cover up, noting that over six unregistered universities operating in Nigeria had been closed down in the past one year while the commission was prosecuting owners of 10 unregistered tertiary institution.
Before her arrest, Mrs. Lucky, the school coordinator, revealed that the university which had been registered by Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria, started in 2010 in Benin-City, Edo State as a mobile scholarship programme.
“Our objective is to provide scholarship and run international degree programme as well as create employment”, she said, noting that the school management was working out details to enable it register with NUC and obtain the commission’s necessary authorisation.