The National Open University of Nigeria said on Friday that it had identified and closed down five illegal study centres operating in different parts of Lagos.
The Director, Media and Information of the institution, Malam Ibrahim Sheme, explained that the decision was taken following reports from some concerned Nigerians.
He said that NOUN had to constitute a committee to monitor the activities of its study centres nationwide, in the interest of the general public.
He said, “We will continue to clamp down on the activities of such centres, whose main aim is to defraud Nigerians of their hard-earned incomes, given the economic situation in the country today.
“We just visited Lagos to monitor our centres and their operations and discovered five illegal study centres operating there.
“Anyone who wants to run a study centre must go through due process by officially registering with the institution, subject to meeting all the laid-down criteria.
“It is not by doing it illegally or by way of fraud. Those who discuss with NOUN for such purpose are given permission to do that, after meeting the prescribed requirements.”
Sheme said that all those found to have been operating the illegal study centres of the institution would be made to face legal action.
He also decried the collaboration of owners of some major schools by allowing operators of such centres to cite the centres in their institutions.
Sheme said that such school owners would also be prosecuted alongside the operators of the illegal study centres, stressing that ignorance of the law was not an excuse.
He said, “These owners of such schools who allowed the centres to be cited in their school premises will also face sanctions because they ought to have made their findings.
“NOUN’s major mandate is to give access to education to all Nigerians who desire quality education, irrespective of age or social status.
“We will, therefore, not allow anyone or group of persons to infiltrate that mandate and that is why we will continue to monitor the nooks and crannies of the country to keep these people in check.
“We will also do more in sensitising the public concerning the activities of such persons and the existence of their illegal centres.
“We also want to seize this opportunity to plead with the general public to be on the lookout for such centres and to continue to inform us, for necessary action.”