- Grants licenses to 20 private varsities
BY HENRY TYOHEMBA, Abuja
The Federal Government has said that the country needed more universities in order to address the challenge of access to tertiary education.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, stated this in Abuja on Thursday while presenting provisional licences to 20 new private universities.
Adamu, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajuiba, said the establishment of the new universities will help to address the issue of access to tertiary education in the country.
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 200 million, 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 universitie,” the Minister added.
He further charged the National Universities Commission (NUC) to strengthen its quality assurance mechanism so that as the number of universities increases, quality will be maintained, while advising the universities to sustain funding and proper care taking to maintain their campuses upon commencement of academic activities.
Earlier, the executive secretary of NUC, Prof. Rasheed Abubakar, said the approval of the universities was 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.
He added that 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, while stressing that the Commission will not tolerate any breach of the conditions of the approval of the universities as it will embark on massive monitoring.
For his part, the executive secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof. Sulieman Bogoro, urged private universities to strengthen their capacity in terms of research, revealing that for the last two years, a lot of private universities have benefited from TETFund research fund.
The new universities granted lilicenses were 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.
Also on the list 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.
Others included 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.