The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has advised both parents and students to be wary of patronizing sub-standard universities in the neighbouring countries.
In a statement issued in Abuja by her Media Aide, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, the SSA gave the advice when Mr Gbemileke Ogunronbi, President, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Benin Republic Chapter paid her a visit in Abuja.
She raised an alarm that thousands of Nigerian students had their fate trapped in about 52 non-accredited universities in Benin Republic.
According to her, most of the private schools in the neighbouring countries, especially Benin Republic, with Nigerians as their main students, were sub-standard.
Dabiri-Erewa pointed out that most of the institutions in the neighbouring countries targeted Nigerian students, especially those that could not meet the admission standard in Nigeria.
“Most of these institutions that Nigerian students attend in our neighbouring countries are sub-standard, we have better standard private universities in Nigeria than those schools.
“That is why National Universities Commission (NUC) Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the Ministry of Education had to blacklist some of these schools to save the innocent students.
“Nigerian students are being exploited in most of these countries, there is a particular country we went to that a university is being run in the portal cabin right inside a market,” she said.
According to her, Nigeria would not accept certificate from such schools for the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC), because students who failed here run to those schools
“Don’t waste your money, your resources, your energy going to those schools because they are substandard. We need to embark on awareness creation about these schools so that students would not be victims, our children don’t need to go there and they are paying more and getting lesser quality.
“Let us start believing in ourselves towards revamping this country, the economy and using the money judiciously what it is supposed to be used for,” she said.
According to her, if every government’s penny is spent judiciously we won’t be where we are today, we have to move forward and that is why we have to build this foundation.
She blamed the problem of education in the country on the bad leadership in the past, stressing that Nigeria has better quality education than most of the neighbouring countries.
“Unfortunately the issue of bad leadership in the past has affected the standard of education in the country with most of Nigerian students as victims.
“Bad leadership over the years had plunged Nigeria to where we found ourselves today, this is one of the reasons why the youth must support the President in the fight against corruption.
“Those money that are meant to be invested in schools are being stolen by the corrupt leaders. President Buhari is fighting about your future to secure the future,” she said.
“Things have to be fixed and they are being fixed now, President Buhari is building the foundation now.
“She promised that government would look into issues raised by the students and find solutions to it.
Earlier, Ogunronbi, said that thousands of Nigerian students have their fate trapped in 52 non-accredited universities scattered in Benin Republic.
He decried the substandard and low quality of education and exploitation of Nigerian students by the various higher institutions in Benin Republic.
Ogunronbi recalled how the Federal Government had blacklisted some of these schools and yet still being patronised by Nigerian students
He said that Nigerian students were being lured into those schools, because what is being advertised is different from the quality given out.
He said that the amount being paid was far above what was indicated in the admission letter which most often put the students in a dilemma.
“Because of this, many students drop out because they could not meet the financial obligation.
“We need the intervention of the Federal Government in some of the challenges that we are facing in the Benin Republic as students.
Ogunronbi also said that there is a great discrimination against Nigerian as they believe that once you are a Nigerian, then you must be a criminal.
He also raised security issue especially when crossing the boarders, saying Nigerians are still being harassed even after checking all their documents.
The student leader called on the government to intervene in the delay in enlisting graduates from Benin Republic to serve in the NYSC as some of them have to stay at home for two or three years before being cleared by the NYSC authority.