NCCE shuts down 160 illegal colleges of education, study centres
National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), have disclosed that 160 illegal colleges and study centres across the country have been shut down.
This was made known by Paulinus Okwelle, the executive secretary, who said the commission embarked on the “cleansing” exercise to protect the integrity of the Nigeria certificate in education (NCE).
The Executive Secretary stated that the commission discovered that some colleges were operating centres outside their state of operations without clearance and approval.
According to him, “In our first exercise ending 2022, we discovered about 160 illegal colleges and study centres. They are not registered and licensed, they had no standard. Nobody looked at colleges to approve and supervise them. So, we identified some of them as running illegal study centres.
“A college that approval was given to in Oyo state, has a study centre in Abuja. It is not peculiar to the colleges. Even the universities and polytechnics. We know about this.
“To be fair, it was an exercise that we took a risk. Our directors physically went to those remote places and identified them (illegal colleges). We did it such that we had very fruitful results. We first of all wrote to the government of those states.
“So, when our team go to a state, we report to the ministry of education in that state. The ministry of education in the state helped us to identify some. Because for you to establish a private college, you must have a consent letter from the ministry of education of that state.
“When we got the result and sent it to the minister, he asked us to take steps to close them down. So, the first step we took was that we wrote to the governors of each of the states.
Okwelle also said the commission is currently conducting a revalidation of the colleges that were shut down to ensure that they have not resumed operation.
He added that the exercise was concluded in December, noting that the results will be out soon, adding that everything will be sorted out and reported to each state ministry by February.
“As I speak now, we are collating that result. When we collate, we will filter because it is a legal thing. You have to be very sure so that somebody does not take you to court. Once that is done, we assure you by February we will be sending our reports to the ministry.
The whole essence is to strengthen the certificate in quality of education, he stated.