Can I Use Benin Republic Certificates in Nigeria? - School Contents

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Can I Use Benin Republic Certificates in Nigeria?

I think there is a need to put an end to the unending question of whether a certificate obtained from a university in the  Republic of Benin or Cotonou is acceptable in Nigeria.


The topic is hot and it's creating more problems on several platforms than solutions. Parents, guardians, and sponsors want to know the fate of their wards when they return after bagging their degrees or other educational qualification, from the  Benin Republic. Students are worried about shortcuts becoming longcuts.


In this post, I will be covering certain areas regarding the acceptability of Benin Republic Certificates.

First, Which of Benin Republic Certificates?

In Cotonou, like any other country, education stages include, primary, secondary, and tertiary.


There is no doubt that if you have your primary school education in the Benin Republic (BR), your First school leaving result/certificate should be acceptable for the furtherance of your studies (to secondary school) in Nigeria.


Hence, going to a secondary school with your primary school certificate will be widely accepted in Nigeria if you're coming from any primary school in Benin Republic.


However, if you have your secondary school education in the BR, Nigerian universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education may be discriminating. 


This is expected because, all higher institutions in Nigeria are required to accept WAEC, NECO, NBAIS, and NABTEB for their admissions. I doubt if you have any of this from the Benin Republic. Unless you're ready to put in for any of these when you come here, not having them is an immediate setback.


Nigeria is part of the West African Examination Council with Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Gambia. The Benin Republic is not among them, hence, not an English-speaking West African country.


In Benin Republic, after Middle School Education, students who wish to pursue their academic options further proceed to senior high school for another 3 years. After that, they have to pass their baccalaureat examination which is the key to the doors of the university. 


In the entire JAMB brochure, which dictates the requirements to gain admission in Nigeria, I've not seen where the baccalaureate examination is mentioned as an SSCE requirement for admission.


On this note, I doubt if you'll be able to gain admission in Nigeria with the baccalaureate examination, to any university, polytechnic, or college of education. And it won't matter whether you're a Nigerian or Beninese.


For the rest of this post, I will be covering the acceptance of Benin Republic undergraduate degree certificates, in Nigeria, for:


  1. National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)
  2. Direct Entry Admissions
  3. Postgraduate Studies
  4. Work

NYSC Accepts Benin Republic-Based Nigerians For the Scheme

Due to competition and similar reasons, most Nigerian students and admission seekers are resolving to seek admission to universities in BR.


After their 3/4 year tertiary education abroad, they return home to join their counterparts from Nigerian universities and polytechnics, in order to serve their fathers' land in the scheme called NYSC.


They're accepted into the scheme just like any other Nigerians who study abroad e.g. the UK, the US, Ukraine, etc.


Accredited Benin Republic universities have already partnered with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) on this. Hence, yearly, they mobilize their graduates for NYSC.


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After Your Degree in Benin Republic, Direct Entry Admission Can Safe You the Embarrassment

After returning from Cotonou with a degree, my best advice is for you to upgrade your certificate to the degree in Nigeria, to start with. 


Even though you can be better than your colleagues here, the labor market cares less.


One of the means to upgrade your undergraduate degree to a Nigerian degree is to obtain the JAMB direct entry form. Of course, with this, you're not sitting for UTME. Nope!


The form will only be obtained with which you can consider any university of your choice. If admitted, you could get the 200-level of your course or a related one. With this, you're spending another three years for a Nigeria 5-year course or three years for a Nigeria 4-year course.


A lady returned from Cotonou after completing her Degree in Nursing. She was done with her NYSC and looked for jobs. To her surprise, with a degree in Nursing from any country, you would need a Nigerian license to practice here. The license would be issued by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN)


The council, unfortunately to her, would not issue to a degree holder of Nursing, from the Benin Republic. Instead, they told her to upgrade her Nursing in Nigeria through the JAMB Direct Entry or any distance learning/part-time programmes by Nigerian universities such as Ladoke Akintola University Ogbomoso, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, University of Ibadan, etc.


The lady had to go with one of these options or she had to forget using her degree for anything legal in Nigeria.


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Getting Jobs With the Benin Republic Degree in Nigeria is Possible But Not Always

Not only will you face discrimination in the labor market as a BR returnee, but you'll also find it difficult to beat the competition that is waiting for you at home.


Graduates from hundreds of Nigerian universities and polytechnics are already choking the labor market. These people are finding it difficult to compete among themselves not to mention a graduate coming from educationally-less-developed countries like the Benin Republic.


Let's be real here. Very many prospective employing businesses and organizations have a track record of what OAU, ABU, UNN, UNICAL, UNIPORT, UNIJOS, or UNILAG graduates can offer. And they are aware of the educational system of this country. They even know schools to trust their products and those you can be in doubt of. They have track records of the efficiency of their previous staff and those working at present.


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Why will these organizations want to risk their positions with any foreign students with a reputation not as good as Nigeria's? And we both know if any country should have an education reputation not as good as Nigeria, it's going to be mere chaos.


It's easy to convince yourself that BR's graduates are even better. You might have gone to the Benin Republic to study because of your difficulty in gaining admission here. That doesn't mean the education there is as good or any better.


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For Postgraduate Studies, Benin Republic Degree May Be Accepted But Not in All Cases

Similar to if you chose to do direct entry admission after your foreign degree, to use a degree bagged at Cotonou for postgraduate studies in Nigeria will require some upgrading upfront, if you don't want to search the entire universities in Nigeria, before getting one that will take you up.


Even in Nigeria, universities discriminate against one another. Some don't accept HND holders for their postgraduate programmes. Some will largely take their alumni.


In short, if you must use a Benin Republic degree for MSC, Ph.D., PGDE, etc. in Nigeria, you should prepare to try several universities. You may be lucky to win the hearts of a few.


Whereas, if you think the risk of wasting your time and efforts in gambling with universities is irrational, you may want to upgrade your degree in Nigeria before you can put in for postgraduates here.


Available options to upgrade your existing Benin Republic degree in Nigeria are:


  1. Direct Entry Admission. This will require obtaining a new JAMB direct entry form and processing 200-level admission with it. No exam is required for DE. 
  2. Top-Up or Conversion Degree.  This will convert your degree. You can chase the same course or change the course entirely with this. You may need to spend 2 to 3 years for the top-up or convert your degree with this programme.
  3. Professional Courses. Some postgraduate programmes will waive your degree if you have professional courses like ICAN, ACCA, etc. with it.

Conclusion

It'll be unfair to tell you that you can't use your primary, secondary, or higher education certificate in Nigeria. Like any other country's education, results from the Benin Republic are acceptable. However, there are terms to understand before relying on this stand.


You have to be sure that you won't need to upgrade them to their Nigeria equivalence. You have to be sure that it won't be looked down on. You have to know how to add value to it if you must be competitive among the home holders.


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