A good academic thesis otherwise referred to as a project, is required for the award of a degree in Nigerian universities. While many final-year students make efforts to present their thesis to various supervisors for approval, others pay mercenaries to write for them. This anomaly has become a trend in the university environment, Daily Trust on Sunday reports.
In May 2019, this newspaper published an undercover story titled; “How students pay mercenaries to write final year project.”
The previous story was triggered by a profile of ‘Excellent Service Providers’ who advertised an online service for students that would want to pay for their coursework, thesis, and dissertation writing.
Our fresh quest into the world of this new circle of “project mercenaries” revealed that the activities of these ghostwriters have become rampant, especially in the four institutions visited, namely, University of Lagos, University of Abuja, University of Jos, and Bayero University, Kano.
Our undercover visits to these four universities revealed how this illegal act is prominent among students, thereby turning the reputable institutions into hotbeds of cheating and plagiarism.
Also discovered was that the operators of this industry, mostly men and a few women, are predominantly holders of university degrees in various fields, who could not secure jobs after their mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.
In UniAbuja, ‘project mercenaries’ melt into photocopiers
Daily Trust on Sunday’s first journey into this story began with a phone call to a friend who recently graduated from the University of Abuja, asking him the veracity of a claim that the majority of final year students pay mercenaries to do their research work.
Surprisingly, his answer was even more daring than anyone could expect.
“It is very rampant now. The majority of the students don’t write projects by themselves; they prefer to engage the services of mercenaries or plagiarise projects if they don’t have money to pay.
“To be frank with you, in my class, only two of us did the final year project by ourselves.
“Before now, you hardly saw mercenaries within the school premises, but nowadays, they freely operate. If you are in doubt, go to Adelabu,” he said.
Adelabu is a popular business centre named after a former vice-chancellor of the university, Professor James Adelabu.