….as FG grants licences to 20 private varsities
The Federal Government on Thursday insisted that the country needs more universities in order to address the challenge of access to tertiary education.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, stated this in Abuja yesterday while presenting provisional licences to the 20 new private universities.
Adamu who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Hon Nwajuiba Chukwuemeka said the establishment of the new universities will help to address the issue of access to tertiary education.
He said the approval of the new institutions has now brought the number of private universities in Nigeria to 99 and a total of 193 universities nationwide.
According to him, “In relation to Nigeria population of over 200m the 193 universities are quite low when you compare to those of other countries such as Brazil with a population of 209 million and 441 universities, Mexico with a population of 156 million with over 375 universities.”
“Despite the progress being made in that area of national development, Nigeria needs more universities.”
He further charged the Universities Commission to strengthen its quality assurance mechanism so that as the number of universities increase, quality will be maintained, while advising the universities to sustain funding and proper care taken to maintain their campuses upon commencement of academic activities, the NUC scribe noted that there is a cruise inadequacies in terms of access and private universities are trying to address such issues.
Earlier, the executive secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Rasheed Abubakar said the approval of the universities is a landmark achievement to the education sector.
He congratulated the proprietors for establishing the universities to address seemingly intractable problem of inadequate access to quality university education in Nigeria. “The NUC appreciate the positive role of private universities in the provision of quality university education in the country. It is for this reason that the federal government is committed to increasing access to university education through partnership with the private sector so as to cater for the yearnings of the teeming numbers of qualified candidates seeking university education.
He said in processing the 20 universities for licencing, NUC took adequate care to ensure the currency and relevance of their proposed academic programmes in addressing the challenges of contemporary society, why stressing that the Commission will not tolerate any breach of the condition of the approval of the universities, saying it will embark on massive monitoring.
The executive secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Professor Sulieman Bogoro urged private universities to strengthen their capacity in terms of research, noting that for the last two years a lot of private universities has benefited from TETFund research fund.
The new universities are Topfaith University, Mkpatak, Akwa Ibom State; Thomas Adewumi University, Oko-Irese, Kwara State; Maranathan University, Mgbidi, Imo State; Ave Maria University, Piyanko, Nasarawa State; and Al-Istiqama University, Sumaila, Kano State.
Others are Mudiame University, Irrua, Edo State; Havilla University, Nde-Ikom, Cross River State; Claretian University of Nigeria, Nekede, Imo State; NOK University, Kachia, Kaduna State; and Karl-Kumm University, Vom, Plateau State, James Hope University, Lagos, Lagos State; Maryam Abacha American University of Nigeria, Kano, Kano State; Capital City University, Kano, Kano State; Ahman Pategi University, Pategi, Kwara State; and University of Offa, Offa, Kwara State.
Mewar University, Masaka, Nasarawa State; Edusoko University, Bida, Niger State; Philomath University, Kuje, Abuja; Khadija University, Majia, Jigawa State; and Anan University, Kwall, Plateau State were also presented with the license.