By NBF News
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National Universities Commission(NUC) authorities and the operator of Temple University, Abuja, Pius Nwachukwu, exchanged hot words at the weekend when the commission closed down the institution for operating illegally.

While the NUC accused him of operating a university without a licence, the operator insisted that he obtained a provisional licence from the commission. 'When I registered, I told them this is Temple University and we are here for distance learning and that we needed an approval to operate. One of the workers promised me he was going to give me an approval letter.

In the process, the letter was issued and I have to pay some money. When we finished registration, our intention was to get a campus here. The receipt for the payment was not given. I paid twenty thousand naira (N20,000) only. I gave the money to an official on the 5th floor though I don't know the person or his name,' he said.

Explaining further, he said the name of the university was derived from his alma mater.

'Temple University, Philadelphia, is my alma mater. So, I decided because of this plan to register Temple Academy Limited so that it will be a collaboration between them. The original intention was to build structures. We are just beginning to register students. We have about 20 people who have already enrolled for studies. We intend to run degree programmes which will include management sciences, education, etc. We have about three visiting lecturers. This is part-time and it is not as if we are running regular course. It is a university just like you have UniAbuja distance learning and that is all,' he stated.

However, the leader of the Clampdown on Illegal University Committee, Professor Adebisi Adebowale, stated that Temple University was an illegal degree mill and, therefore, was to be closed down with immediate effect.

Reacting to Nwachukwu's allegation that he got approval from the 5th floor of NUC office, the he retorted: 'When we closed down illegal degree mill in Akwanga, this was what that supposed VC said and we investigated, up till now, we have not been able to pin-point that person.

This man has also made same allegation. We are going to get to the root of this matter and we will let you know at the end of our investigation. In science, we call that a hypothesis. We at the NUC have been investigating this illegal degree mill for the past two months now.'