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NBTE, DSS Partner To Arrest Operators Of Illegal Health Institutions

The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) is joining hands with the Department of State Services (DSS) to put an end to the proliferation of illegal health institutions and colleges in the country.

The executive secretary (ES) of the board, Professor Mohammed Idris Bugaje, who hinted at the initiative, said one of the proprietors of such illegal colleges was arrested on Wednesday after he made an attempt to get his graduates enrolled for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.

In his opening remarks at a meeting of provosts, proprietors, and principals of health institutions and colleges, as well as registrars of health professional bodies with NBTE management, Bugaje said the board is determined to rid Nigeria of illegal health institutions, as some of them are currently under the DSS investigation.

He said the meeting was called to understand the challenges faced by the proprietors of the institutions towards running a legal system, adding that, one of the earlier recognised challenges was the required guarantee deposit of N100 million by those seeking to establish health institutions.

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Bugaje said, “I am happy to inform you that, yesterday at the management meeting of NBTE, we looked at the issues affecting the health colleges and the management has decided to reduce one of the major impediments; this issue of bank guarantee of N100 million. We have listened to complaints from most of you and we have now reduced the bank deposit guarantee to N25 million.”

The executive secretary lamented that “there are several illegal health institutions across the country, some of them swindling students, collecting money from them and giving them unrecognised certificates. This is of great concern to all of us, not only at the NBTE, professional bodies, and I believe to most of you the proprietors of health institutions.

“As we speak today, there are some colleges of health that are being investigated by the DSS; the matter has even reached the table of the Director General of DSS, as he has authorized his state directors to take appropriate actions. I won’t mention the states, but there are two states involved.

“We have also identified some of our staff that are involved in the illegality, some of them have been suspended. We are determined to clean the system because health is the wealth of any nation, nobody can joke with this sub-sector. For that reason, we as regulators of any tertiary institution outside the university system we are very concerned.

“NBTE is determined to weed out all those health colleges and institutions that are involved in illegal activities. One of the illegal institutions gave one of our staff N2.5 million to facilitate registration. That is illegal constitutionally and even in the sight of God. We have set a committee to investigate the matter and we have asked the staff to return the money, he has to face the full wrath of the law.”