The National Universities Commission, NUC, has dismissed reports of fake professors in Nigerian universities.
The commission said this in a statement by the commission’s its Acting Executive Secretary, Chris Maiyaki, in Abuja on Monday.
He described the report titled, “About 100 fake professors just uncovered in Nigerian universities – NUC’, as a figment of the imagination of the author(s).
Maiyaki also described the publications as ill-conceived and a ploy by unscrupulous persons to create disquiet, panic and provoking outcries at both the national and international levels.
“The attention of the commission has been drawn to news items, circulating on the social media, some national dailies and television stations, to the effect that the commission has just “discovered over 100 fake Professors in Nigerian Universities”.
“The NUC wishes to deny these media reports categorically and unequivocally. They are fake, untrue and a figment of the imagination of the author(s).
“All happening at an unsuitable time, when the nation is awaiting the outcome of the investigation into the fake certificate saga from universities in some neighbouring countries.
“The Commission therefore finds this development as unfair to all stakeholders,’’ he said.
Maiyaki explained that the fake news items had been circulating in two forms- as a link to a 2019 online news item and as a separate list of names of the alleged fake Professors in various Nigerian Universities, which he said was not the case.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission initiated in 2019 a laudable project.
“This is with the intent of compiling and publishing a list of full Professors in the Nigerian Universities System (NUS) through the use of an online portal to collate the requisite data.
“During the exercise, the NUC found anomalies, such as Associate Professors being listed as full Professors.
“It is essential to also state clearly that the Commission as a responsible Federal Government Agency, does not engage in half-baked exercises capable of tarnishing the image of Nigeria and the NUS.
“That was why the Commission deemed it necessary to share the collated data with the Nigerian Universities for the purpose of authentication by the competent authorities as to who qualifies to be a full professor,’’ he said.
According to him, based on the verified data, the Commission then in a landmark accomplishment, first published the list of full Professors who participated in the exercise in 2019.
He added that it was understood that this would be succeeded by a continuous process of updating the list of full Professors.
“It is important to state at this point that all the issues pertaining to the 2019 verification of full Professors in Nigerian Universities were concluded in 2019.
“Since then, the Commission has entrenched a more reliable system of generating the list of full Professors in the NUS.
“The Commission is also conscious of the fact that some of the academics not captured in the 2019 exercise may now have matured and progressed to become full Professors.
“This being the reason why it continuously updates the list of full Professors in the NUS,’’ he added.
The acting executive secretary, however, questions the rationale behind recycling this stale 2019 news of an activity it initiated, conducted and laid to rest in the same year.
“The purpose and objective of resurrecting in 2024 (more than four years later) this-no-longer-fresh news, is clearly intended to generate unnecessary controversy.
“The Commission owes it a solemn duty to protect and guard the integrity of the many hardworking and committed academics in the NUS, who have earned national and international respect and recognition.
“Therefore, the Commission has been saddled with the vital and strategic responsibility by its enabling laws, to uphold the sanctity of quality in all aspects of our University Education delivery.
“The Commission wishes to use this medium to advise government officials at all levels, members of the NUS, the international community, and the public, to please disregard these items of fake and stale news,’’ he said.