Wednesday, August 7, 2013

10,000 Nigerian undergrads chasing worthless degrees in Benin Republic


Over 10,000 Nigerian undergrads chasing worthless degrees in Benin Republic

By MAURICE ARCHIBONG

Nigerian Ambassador to Benin Republic, HE Lawrence Olufemi Obisakin PhD.
PHOTO: MAURICE ARCHIBONG. All Rights Reserved.
More than 10,000 Nigerians pursuing various degree programmes at different private universities in neighbouring Benin Republic are simply wasting their time, mauricearchibongtravels can authoritatively reveal.

Many of the tens of thousands of Nigerians currently enrolled at various private colleges in Benin are in trouble because the institutions where they are studying failed to make it into a list of 30 approved private universities/tertiary institutions in that country.

Although scores of these private universities have operating license from Benin Republic’s Ministry of Tertiary Education, those that did not make the list probably failed to satisfy inspectors/assessors regarding the quality and qualifications of their academic staffers as well as facilities and learning environment et cetera.

Interestingly, some 8,000 Nigerian students are currently enrolled at Houdegbe North American University Benin (HNAUB). Ironically,  HNAUB, which aims to be The Reference in West Africa, is conspicuously missing from the list of 30 approved private tertiary institutions made available to mauricearchibongtravels by Nigerian Embassy Cotonou, recently. 

That catalogue is the outcome of inspections and meticulous scrutiny by a multilateral joint committee, whose assignment was concluded on 20 March, 2013. Benin’s Ministry of Tertiary Institutions and Nigerian Embassy Cotonou as well as other stakeholders were members of this joint committee.

Benin is also home of mission-owned tertiary institutions, such as Université Catholique de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, Cotonou; and, Protestant University of West Africa. It is worth noting that these two as well as Cle de la Reussite, CERI Formation in Fifadji, COURS Gama, Fopaze, HEJT, UCAO, Université des Sciences Appliqueé et Management, Porto Novo; Université des Sciences et Technologie du Benin, Cotonou; and, Weldios are among major colleges missing from the list of 30.

When contacted, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s envoy to Benin, Amb Lawrence Olufemi Obisakin, had initially advised us to meet Mr. DanKano Kakshak, Minister I at Nigerian Embassy Cotonou for clarification. Mr. Kakshak, who is Supervisor of School for Nigeria International School (NIS) Cotonou; subsequently confirmed the list is authentic. He said it was arrived at, after meticulous efforts and has the endorsement of both Beninese and Nigerian educational authorities. Kakshak should know: he was a member of the committee that drew the list.

During a recent interview with Amb Obisakin, it had come to light that 8,000 Nigerians are studying at HNAUB. According to Amb Obisakin, who taught Conflict Management at HNAUB for a semester in 2012; about 5,000 Nigerians are full-time students, apart from 3,000 others that are correspondence students, there.

Houdegbe University is located in Quartier Houdegbe, close to PK 10 (Peka Dix) roundabout in the Akpakpa neighbourhood of Cotonou, and probably has the largest number of Nigerians studying in Benin Republic. Aside HNAUB, dozens of other colleges across Benin, where tens of thousands of Nigerians are pursuing various courses are also missing from the list of 30 approved private colleges.

Although countless Nigerians are currently studying at various tertiary institutions in different countries across the world, proximity to their country has however made next-door Benin Republic particularly attractive.

In recent years, hundreds of thousands of Nigerian youngsters have migrated because they could not scale the JAMBE (Joint Admission and Matriculation Board Examination) hurdle. But, there are other reasons. For instance, a Nigerian in his early 20s studying at HNAUB told mauricearchibongtravels that his father sent him to Benin because his elder sister spent seven years at Othmanu Dan Fodio University, Sokoto; before taking a B.Sc (Bachelor of Science) in Bio-chemistry.

Normally, that programme runs for four years, but the young woman lost three years to various work stoppages by academic and non-academic staffers in Nigerian universities. Speaking further, the lad (name withheld) added; “Occasionally, universities in northern Nigeria are shut because of terrorist attacks. I believe you can recall the case of massacre of students of Federal Polytechnic Mubi, Adamawa State. Also, some parents believe that those of us sent abroad to study are spared the menace of cultism”.

Concluding, the young man rued, “Sadly, Nigerian universities’ students are currently on another forced vacation because lecturers have gone on strike, again. If the strike is not called off soon, students back home may lose an academic year. This is why some of our parents sent us here. Outside Nigeria, I will graduate on schedule but at home, I can’t be sure”.

However, graduating on schedule is one thing, while bagging a recognised degree is quite another; especially, now that this youngster’s school seems embattled. Founded in 1992, HNAUB, which throws up many faculties and departments, was licensed by Benin Government vide Decree No 089/MESRS/CAB/DC/DPP/SP of 19/10/2001 as well as No 067/MESRS/CAB/DC/DPP/SP of 18/10/2002.

HNAUB boasts Kwame Nkrumah School of International Affairs, Political Science and Public Administration; General Mathieu Kerekou School of Health Science, Sir (Dr) Kesington Adebukunola Adebutu Faculty of Law, Prt Andre Kolingba Institute of Languages and School of Translators, School of Economics; and, Rev. Dr Leon Sullivan School of Business Administration.

During one of our visits to Houdegbe University, on Tuesday, 26 February, 2013; we finally got to meet this varsity’s Director of Admissions, Mrs. Thelmathecla Udo. Whereas Nigerian-born Mrs. Udo enthusiastically told us that she is an alumna of University of Ghana, Legon; the lady was not forthcoming with answers to our queries about HNAUB.

For example, when we asked, “If it is true that Nigerians account for over 70 per cent of Houdegbe University students”? The lady insisted on being given a formal questionaire. Hear her: “After going through your memo, we would know how to go about addressing the issues”. However, while waiting to see Mrs. Udo (we actually spent over an hour in the Admissions’ General Office before seeing the woman); one observed that a booklet containing receipt issued for the purchase of admission application forms, was close to its last pages.

Even at that, many Nigerians, prospective students and parents/guardians, were on queue to buy forms or make enquiries. At Houdegbe, an admission form currently goes for 15,000francs (N5,000). It would seem that the torrent of Nigerians virtually dying to get admitted to HNAUB pushed up the cost of the admission application form, from the 10,000francs (equivalent of N3,500) it sold for, two years ago.

We further learnt that, aside from the 15,000 francs for purchasing an admission form, each freshman subsequently has a tution fee of 920,000francs (over N320,000) to pay. Interestingly, more fees await each HNAUB student: there is Hostel Charge, which extracts additional 300,000francs (N100,000) per semester; and, yet another 30,000francs (N10,000) Caution Fee. Moreover, a student is also required to pay another 30,000francs (N10,000) as Health Insurance premium, per semester.

On Tuesday, 6 August, 2013; during a telephone call to Mrs. Udo regarding the exclusion of her university’s name in the list of approved private universities,   the response of HNAUB’s Director of Admissions was: “I don’t have any comment to make on this matter”. When asked, if her school was missing because it refused to subject itself to inspection, Mrs. Udo reminded: “My advice to you, when you visited our campus the other time still stands. Put your questions in writing and we will address the issues. This is not a matter that can be discussed over the phone, thank you”.

In any case, analysis of the list of approved 30 shows that, whereas some of the colleges have approval to run first degree and post-graduate programmes, prospective Nigerian students should beware because a number of these schools have accreditation for select courses, only. It is worth noting that unlike most conventional universities that offer omnibus programmes, the majority of the private varsities in Benin Republic are steep in only one or two areas.

Instance: a college known as CFPMM only runs one course, leading to a degree in Journalism. Engineering is the forte of an institution called Verechaguine AK, which runs courses leading to a Degree in Civil Engineering, Master in Civil Engineering and Professional Degree in Surveyor-Topographer.

On its part, Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieur Géomètre Topographe (ESIGT) only trains future Survey Engineers/Topographers; while IESSAF/Porto-Novo, runs courses in Professional Degree in International Relations and Professional Degree in French, English and Yoruba Languages.

Apart from engineering, journalism or communication arts/sciences, some of the colleges offer human resource courses, while others specialise in the training of future accountants and transport professionals et cetera. For example, Université Africaine de Technologie et de Management (African University of Technology and Management) has accreditation to offer Professional Degree in Telecommunications and Networking, Professional Degree in Computer Sciences and Industrial Systems and Professional Degree in Legal Studies, with major in Communication and International Relations.

On the other hand, Pigier Benin has a much wider latitude; offering first degree and post-graduate certificates in, among others, Auditing and Management Control, Auditing and Management Control, Banking and Enterprise Financing, Negotiation and Multimedia Communication, Marketing Communication, Human Resources Management, Enterprises Management,  Finance and Science Management.

Similarly, Université Polytechnique Internationale du Benin (International Polytechnique University of Benin) offers professional degree in Accounting and Financial Techniques, Transport and Logistics, Transport and Logistics, Accounting, Control and Auditing, Computerised Enterprises Management and Business Management.

Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Education has an Evaluation and Accreditation Department, established to guide, among others, students seeking admission to foreign institutions. Unfortunately, it would seem that most of those that are victims of placement at unapproved institutions or pursuing unaccredited courses in foreign lands do not take advantage of the services offered by this evaluation and accreditation agency.

By late 2012, some 75 Anglophone private schools could be found across Benin Republic’s economic capital, Cotonou; whereas 20 years ago, such institutions were very rare. Interestingly, all the 30 approved private institutions where founded less than 17 years ago. “There’s a big boom in education across Cotonou”, Mr. Calistus Maduakor, proprietor of Abundance schools’ chain; revealed. This boom, he opined, is traceable to relocation by countless Nigerian families to Cotonou in the last 20 years.

In Benin Republic, Université d'Abomey-Calavi (UAC), founded in 1970, is public-owned; and for decades, was the only such tertiary institution in these climes until Université de Parakou (Parakou University) in Parakou, Borgou Region; entered the picture.

Apart from this highly respected duo, Benin Republic also boasts numerous private universities. However, Nigerians must beware of the status of many of the degree-awarding institutions that have mushroomed across this neighbouring country in recent years.

It is worth pointing out that Amb Obisakin stressed that the current standing is not permanent. “We are talking of the situation as at 20 March, 2013”. In other words, where remedies were made, more colleges could get the nod of approval. Conversely, any institution among the elite 30 that subsequently fell short at the next inspection could be jettisoned.

As a possible way out for thousands of Nigerian students currently studying at Houdegbe University, observers believe this school’s authorities must seek the approval of Benin’s tertiary education ministry. “They need recognition of their home government and affiliation to some established Nigerian universities might also help”, one respondent volunteered.    

Below, are the universities/tertiary institutions on the elite 30 list:

1. Université Africaine de Technologie et de Management (African University of Technology and Management): Professional Degree in Telecommunications and Networking, Professional Degree in Computer Sciences and Industrial Systems and Professional Degree in Legal Studies, with major in Communication and International Relations.

2. Université Polytechnique Internationale du Benin (International Polytechnic University of Benin): Professional Degree in Accounting and Financial Techniques, Professional Degree in Transport and Logistics, Master in Transport and Logistics, Master in Accounting, Control and Auditing, Master in Computerised Enterprises Management, and Master in Business Management.

3. Polytch Le Citoyen (Polytch the Citizen): Professional  Degree in Communication Development, Master in Communication Development, Master in Projects and Development Management, Professional Degree in Human Resources Management, and Professional Master in Human Resources Management.

4. Verechaguine AK: Degree in Civil Engineering, Professional Degree in Surveyor-Topographer, and Master in Civil Engineering.

5. ESEP LE Berger (ESEP the Sherpherd): Degree in Audit Control Management, Professional Degree in Administration and Human Resources Management, and Professional Degree of Enterprise Management Optional: Finance and Accounting.

6. CFPMM: Degree in Journalism.

7. Pigier Benin: Degree in Auditing and Management Control, Master in Auditing and Management Control, Degree in Banking and Enterprise Financing, Degree in Negotiation and Multimedia Communication, Master in Marketing Communication, Master in Human Resources Management, Degree in Science Management, Professional Master in Enterprises Management, and Professional Master in Finance.

8. IESSAF/Porto-Novo: Professional Degree in International Relations, and Professional Degree in French, English and Yoruba Languages.

9. Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieur Géomètre Topographe (ESIGT): Surveying Engineer Topographer.

10. Institut International de Management (International Institute of Management) IIM: Professional Degree in Enterprises Administration, Professional Degree in Communication-Marketing, Professional Degree in Enterprises Management, Professional Degree in Auditing and Enterprises Financing, Professional Degree in Human Resources Management, Master in Enterprises Administration, Master in Communication- Marketing, Master in Enterprises Management, Master in Management and Business Law, Master in Auditing and Enterprises Financing, Master in Projects Management, Master in Economic Intelligence and Development Strategies, Master in Quality Management, and Master in Public Contracts Management.

11. Institut Supérieur des Métiers de l’Audiovisuel (Higher Institution of Audiovisual Professions): Professional Degree in Audiovisual, Professional Degree in Production, Professional Degree in Audiovisual Journalism, Master Degree in Production, Master  Degree in Audiovisual Professions, and Professional Master degree in Journalism.

12. Institut Supérieure de Management ISM Adonai (Higher Institution of Management ISM Adonai): Degree in Accounting Control and Auditing, Degree in Business Administration, Degree in Auditing and Management Control, Degree in Human Resources Management, Degree in Projects Management, Degree in Marketing, Master in Accounting Control and Auditing, Master in Auditing and Management Control, Master in Human Resources Management, Master in Marketing, Master in Projects Management, and Master in Business Administration.

13. Institute CERCO (CERCO Institution): Professional Degree in Accounting Management, and Professional Degree in Industrial Computing and Maintenance.

14. IRGIB Africa: Degree in Industrial Engineering.

15. Ecole Supérieure de Management (ESM) Higher Institution of Management: Professional Degree in Management and Administration of Enterprises, and Master in Business Administration.

16. ISFES  Laura Vicuna: Professional Degree of Specialized Educator.

17. ESPERANZA: Professional Degree in Entrepreneurial creation and Enterprises take over, Professional Degree in Entrepreneurship major: Hotel industry, Catering and Tourism, and Professional Master Degree in Entrepreneurship major: Creation, Innovation and Lobbying.

18. Ecole Supérieure d’Administration et d’Economie (ESAE): Professional Degree in Journalism.

19. ESTIM: Professional Degree in Metrology and Quality of Management.

20. Ecole Supérieure de Gestion, d’Informatique and Sciences (ESGIS): Degree in Accounting Audit, and Professional degree in International Management.

21. IRSBAC-COM/Parakou: Professional Degree in Journalism.

22. ISM Adonai Parakou: Degree in Auditing and Management Control, Degree in Projects Management, and Degree in Human Resources Management.

23. Haute Ecole de Commerce et de Management (HECM) Higher Institution of Commerce and Management: Professional Degree in Computer Engineering, Professional Degree  in Communication and Trade Negotiation, Professional Degree  in Finance and Management Control, Professional Degree in Administration and Human Resources Management, Master in Auditing and Management Control, Master  Degree in Administration and Human Resources Management, Master in Marketing and Advertisement, Master in Projects Management, Master in Banking, Finance and Insurance, Master in Computer Engineering, and Master in Taxation.

24. Ecole de Technicien Supérieur du Benin LA GRACE (ECOTES-BENIN) Higher Technical  Institution of Benin: Professional Degree in Human Resources Management, Professional Degree in Communication and Marketing, Professional Degree  in Finance and Accounting, Professional degree in Banking  and Insurance, Master  in Human Resources Management, Master in Projects Management, and Master in Finance, Management Control and Auditing.

25. Centre de Formation Professionnel de Tourisme de l’Agence Africaine de Tourisme (CFPT-AAT) Professional Training Centre in Tourism of the African Agency of Tourism: Professional Degree ( Diploma in Specialized Professional Course) in Tourism, and Master in Economy and Tourist Enterprises  Management.

26. Institut Universitaire du Benin (IUB) University Institution of Benin: Master in Translation and Interpretation.

27. Ecole Supérieure Jean Michel le Faucon (ESJMF) Jean Michel Faucon Higher Institution: Professional Degree in Civil Engineering.

28. Institut Supérieur de Formation Professionnelle et d’Appui a la Sécurité (IS-FOPASE) Higher Institution of Professional Training and Support to Security: Professional Degree in Human Resources Management.

29. Institut Universitaire pour la Paix et le Développement en Afrique (IUPDA) University Institution for Peace and Development in Africa: Professional Degree in Legal Sciences.

30. Ecole Supérieure Panafricaine de Management Appliquée (ESPAM-FORMATION) Pan-African Higher Institution of Applied Management: Professional Degree in Human Resources Management, and Master in Local Development and Decentralisation.

12 comments:

  1. Thank you for your post. This is excellent information. It is amazing and wonderful to visit your site. It really gives me an insight on this topic.Here you can find many more tips about Self Improvement and Personal Finance.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nigerian Undergraduates Populate
    Universities in Benin Republic

    https://binbox.io/muilY#9ApP5M1b

    ReplyDelete
  3. Elect Elect, System Engineering and Mgt Sc. Social Sc. Art & e.t.c. Contact me if you need University Admission in the Republic du Benin.. I am ready to give you a professional advice on which of the universities to choose : zicolusegun@yahoo.com
    BB: 7BF84586
    +22 98579780

    ReplyDelete
  4. Elect Elect, System Engineering and Mgt Sc. Social Sc. Art & e.t.c. Contact me if you need University Admission in the Republic du Benin.. I am ready to give you a professional advice on which of the universities to choose : zicolusegun@yahoo.com
    BB: 7BF84586
    +229 98579780

    ReplyDelete
  5. Less Cours Sonou is it also not accredited yet?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi,,please is hill city acreditaed.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi,,please is hill city acreditaed.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Please who has information on Hill CIty University?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kbee,i have little info on the school,,been chatting with the admin and he says it's accreditation is genuine you can go over to the school to get more..i am resuming by month end.

      Delete
  9. Wow! This is the perfect blog I am looking this type of blog its awesome blog here , share great information about this topic. This informative blog helps many readers with their decision-making regarding the situation. Great articles and will look forward for more! Top Nigeria University

    ReplyDelete
  10. This blog helped me to understand the fact that even a simply written article can be best over thousands of other highly qualified no-meaning articles. So always keep in mind that use simple but accurate parameters for your blog. Nigeria Open Educational Resources

    ReplyDelete
  11. Is Hegt University accredited?

    ReplyDelete