The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has expressed concerns over the increase in illegal health institutions and colleges operating in Nigeria. To address this, the Board is working closely with the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest and prosecute those found operating such institutions. The Executive Secretary (ES) of the Board, Professor Mohammed Idris Bugaje, made this known at a meeting of Provosts, Principals of health institutions, Registrars of health professional bodies, and NBTE management.
Professor Bugaje revealed that one of the proprietors of an illegal college was arrested recently when he attempted to get his graduates enrolled for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme. He noted that some of these illegal institutions were already under investigation by the DSS.
At the meeting, the ES also addressed the challenges faced by proprietors of legal health institutions and colleges. One of the challenges, he noted, was the required guarantee deposit of N100 million. However, the Board has now reduced the bank deposit guarantee to N25 million to alleviate the burden on proprietors.
The proliferation of illegal health institutions is of great concern to NBTE, professional bodies, and proprietors of health institutions. Many of these institutions collect money from students and give them unrecognized certificates, leaving them with limited job opportunities. The ES emphasized that health is the wealth of any nation and that NBTE is determined to rid Nigeria of illegal health institutions.
The Board has identified some of its staff involved in the illegality and has suspended them. The ES also mentioned that one of the illegal institutions gave one of their staff N2.5 million to facilitate registration, which is illegal constitutionally and in the sight of God. The staff involved has been asked to return the money and will face the full wrath of the law.
The ES called on the Registrars of professional bodies to join hands with NBTE and the Provosts to promote best practices. He also emphasized the need to standardize training in healthcare to ensure that Nigeria maintains its reputation as one of the best in healthcare. Nigeria is recognized globally as a major hub for skills export, and the ES believes that if more youths are engaged in professional training, they can find opportunities globally and bring foreign exchange to the nation.
The meeting was held to understand the challenges faced by proprietors of health institutions and colleges and come up with a workable solution to address the menace of illegal health training institutions in Nigeria. The ES stressed the need for standardization of training and the promotion of best practices to ensure that Nigeria maintains its reputation in healthcare.