The Nigeria’s “Ban” Policy – And Problems for the Future

The Nigeria’s “Ban” Policy – And Problems for the Future

In 2016, Nigeria’s National University Commission made it clear that online degrees from foreign universities were “unacceptable” in the country. People, tell me a story, now that most schools are online or hybrid, including schools like MIT, Stanford and Harvard, are their degrees at risk in Nigeria? Of course, there was no Covid-19 pandemic when the call was made – and that explains the issues with the policy: blanket ban is ineffective, most times, because you end us missing the root cause.

Yes, that is where I am going here – using ban, instead of making  efforts to get to the root issues, causes harms. Suddenly, with Covid-19, we just noticed that the problem was not “online”, rather quality from the programs. MIT went online during the peak of the pandemic. Certainly, I do not expect NUC to ban degrees from MIT.

NUC was trying to communicate thus: we will not accept degrees from schools that were unaccredited or had low quality. That does not necessarily mean that an “online” channel should disqualify a school. Some top ranked schools in the US will finish a semester or even a year with no physical contacts. Certainly, NUC will not ban their degrees.

This is largely banned in Nigeria at scale

It comes down to putting efforts to look at issues comprehensively over easy in, easy out approach. People are doing money laundering with a digital currency. Instead of arresting the criminals, you banned the sector. We banned drones in Nigeria because some people could use it to cause problems [that ban is technical when you consider the regulatory requirements]. Yet, if you check, Kenya takes a more nuanced approach, isolating issues from the haze, and at the end, the nation is making progress while Nigeria stifles everything.

How do you invent a future when you are so afraid of trying new things in a nation?

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