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Digital Certificate: Beware of saboteurs, WAEC warns public



The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) says no amount of blackmail or fraud will stop its latest innovation, in checking the activities of fraudsters, using its recently launched digital certificate platform.

The council’s Head, National Office (HNO), Mr Patrick Areghan, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, in Lagos.

Areghan was reacting to scepticism in some quarters on the ability of the platform to deliver on its stated objectives, with some others discrediting it.

He also clarified on some checks that had been put in place on the platform to prevent misuse and unauthorised access to results of others.

According to him, contrary to the wrong perception of the platform in such quarters, it has been largely successful for persons who have provided the right information.

NAN reports that the digital certificate platform, launched on Oct. 20 by the council, is to check activities of fraudsters, make retrieval of lost or destroyed certificates possible and make access, sharing and confirmation easy, among other benefits.

It is also a response to modern trends, lifestyles of the teeming youth and the technological age in general.

The platform is compliant with global best practices, by ensuring that the data of candidates are protected securely and can not be accessed by third parties without the consent of certificate owners.

Areghan said it was disappointing that some people were trying to discredit such bold and globally acclaimed initiative of the council.

“Well, it has come to us too as a surprise that some unscrupulous elements are trying to access other people’s certificates for commercial and political purposes.

“Definitely, the system will reject such applications, once the supplied information does not tally with the true owner of the said certificate.

In other words, you must get all the correct data of the owner of any certificate to be able to access the same.

“For the system to allow you access, you must be properly identified, using your NIN, Driver’s Licence and other such critical personal data, to be sure that you are the authentic owner,” he said.

Areghan said that the council had also discovered that some people were trying to access CANCELLED CERTIFICATES as a result of examination malpractice.

“Again, some persons are trying to turn themselves into ‘Certificate Merchants’ by constituting themselves into Certificate Retrieval Syndicate. They are only wasting their time,” he said.

The council boss said that feedback indicated that owners of some private schools were also not happy with the innovation, believing it would shut an area in which they got extra income.

He stressed that the regional test body would continue to adhere to global best practices on data protection as well as ensure that candidates’ data are not compromised.

According to him, there is a need to validate the identity of persons using the platform and the information provided, before granting access to a certificate.

The council boss, however, explained that there were isolated cases, whose information could not be validated successfully, because no corresponding records were found on the database, or the information provided did not match the certificate being queried.

He said that for data protection reasons, these categories of persons would not be granted access.

The WAEC chief said any such person was advised to raise a ticket via the platform and the issues would be investigated.

“At the end of our investigation, genuine owners of the certificate are granted access, while those who have provided wrong or false information are denied access.

“This, no doubt, is a laudable innovation and WAEC must be supported and encouraged to do more,” Areghan said.

1 Comment

1 Comment

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Uniosun 500-level nursing student, Popoola Zainab, declared missing




A 500-level nursing student of Osun State University, Osogbo, Popoola Zainab, has been declared missing.

It was gathered that the student was discovered missing on Sunday by the University authority and efforts to know her whereabouts have proved futile.

The School Public Relations Officer, Ademola Adesoji, who confirmed the incident on Monday, disclosed that the issue has been reported to the University security department and investigation launched into the circumstances surrounding her disappearance.

“We have reported the case. We got the information late yesterday and it was reported that she said she was going out and as soon as we got the information, we informed the Chief Security Officer of the University and he commenced an investigation.

“The report he sent to us is that they discovered that she dropped a note and we are trying to evaluate the note for now but we’ve reported the case to the police and DSS and they are currently investigating the matter”.

When asked about the content of the note, Ademola said, “I’ve not been able to see the note. So, I will not be able to talk about the content.

“She was staying outside the campus. We got the information when we discovered she didn’t attend class and some of her friends were posting some information about her online.

“The Student Affairs Officer tried to ask her friends some questions and that was how we were able to know of her disappearance. The chief security officer in conjunction with the Student Affair Officer commenced the investigation. It was their report that we used in informing the police and the DSS”.

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FUT Minna laments shortage of hostels, says ‘We can house only 3,304 of 26,000 students’




Faruk-Adamu Kuta, the vice-chancellor (VC) of the Federal University of Technology (FUT) Minna, has expressed concern over the shortage of student hostels in the institution.

NAN reports that the newly selected VC described the shortage as a major challenge during his inaugural speech.

Kuta said since the inception of FUT Minna, the varsity has been able to provide hostels for only 3,304 out of 26,000 of its student population.

He also expressed worry about security and social challenges facing its students living off campus.

The VC sought the intervention of stakeholders, asking them to take advantage of the gap to build in the school.

“I am using this forum to request and appeal to FUT alumni, friends, and stakeholders that have the means at their disposal to take advantage of the offer,” Kuta said.

“Stakeholders should come to our aid through public-private partnership arrangements to provide hostels accommodation for the teeming students to ease their hardship.”

On internally generated revenue, Kuta vowed to ensure proper usage of the university’s income.

“Every loophole through which leakages and wastages are perpetrated will be properly blocked so that we can augment whatever comes from the federal government for the maximum benefit of FUT,” he added.

Kuta was appointed as the eighth substantive VC of the varsity on September 22.

Prior to his appointment, he was a deputy director of the university’s academic planning unit, head of the Department of Microbiology, director of the academic planning unit, and deputy vice-chancellor (academics).

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Ex-Federal University of Gusau VC, Magaji Garba, bags 35-year jail term over N260m fraud




Magaji Garba, an ex-VC of the Federal University Gusau (FUGUS) has been sentenced to 35 years imprisonment over N260 million fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) secured the conviction on Wednesday in Abuja.

Maryam Hassan Aliyu, a judge of the FCT high court in Garki found the former vice-chancellor guilty of a five-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretense and forgery.

Garba was arraigned by the EFCC on October 12, 2021, for allegedly extorting various sums from a contractor on the pretext of awarding him a N3 billion contract for the perimeter wall fencing of the university.

The offense is contrary to section 1 (1) (a) and punishable under section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

Count two of the charge reads: “That you, Professor Magaji Garba, whilst being the Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Gusau on or about the 15th of May, 2019 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N100,000,000 (One Hundred Million Naira) from Alhaji Shehu Umar Sambo, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Ministaco Nigeria Limited, a contractor executing the construction of the Grand Convocation Square of the Federal University, Gusau under the false pretense of awarding a project for the perimeter wall fencing of the University valued at the total sum of N3,000,000,000.00 (Three Billion Naira) which representation/pretense you knew to be false”.

Count three reads: “That you, Professor Magji Garba, whilst being the Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Gusau on or about the 1st [of ] August 2019 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N150,000,000.00 (One Hundred and fifty Million Naira from Alhaji Shehu Umar Sambo, Managing Director/Chief Executive officer of Ministaco Nigeria Limited, a contract executing the construction of the Grand Convocation Square at the Federal University, Gusau under the false presence of awarding a project for the perimeter wall fencing of the University valued at the total sum of N3,000,000,000.00 (Three Billion Naira), which representation/ pretense you knew to be false”.

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