The federal government on Friday, presented operational licences to the 37 newly approved private universities in the country.
Recall that the Federal Executive Council, FEC, had on May 15,2023, approved the registration of 37 private universities in Nigeria.
The presentation of the licences was carried out by the National Universities Commission,NUC,at its headquarters in Abuja.
With the development,the number of private universities operating in the country is now 147, according to the Executive Secretary of the commission,Prof. Abubakar Rasheed.
The NUC boss,who also said the country now has a total of 264 universities,noted that investment in tertiary education was a requirement for human capital development in Nigeria.
According to him, access to university education remained a challenge due to the high demand and increasing number of secondary school graduates.
He said:”The Nigerian statistics of high demand of tertiary education is grossly inadequate. Statistics put the number of enrollment in tertiary institutions at 2.23 million which is about 12 per cent of the total population of 220 million.”
He challenged the proprietors of the newly established universities to ensure that the motive for creating the universities were not for money but for a higher and noble goal.
Rasheed said:”In establishing universities, you don’t expect to get financial rewards. If your main motive is to make money, then you are in a wrong place. You are here to pay back to humanity.
”The establishment of private universities is in dire need of passion from people, so that passion should drive you.”
While charging the proprietors of quality assurance in the universities, the NUC boss assured of the commission’s support and cooperation to grow the university system.
Speaking at the occasion,the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education,Mr David Adejo, said the federal government was committed to public private partnership, especially in education sector which gave rise to the new universities.
According to him, the gross total enrollment ratio stands at 12 per cent so there is a gap between demand and supply and as long as this gap exists, government will continue to welcome proposals for university’s enrollment by credible group.
He said the government would ensure that quality assurance and minimum standards in those universities were not compromised.
The new universities were listed as: Rayhaan University, Kebbi state, Muhammad Kamalu-Deen University, Kwara state, Sam Maris University, Ondo state and Aletheia University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun state; Lux Mundi University, Abia state, Maduka University, Enugu state, Peaceland University, Enugu state, Amadeus University, Abia state, Vision University , Ogun state, Azman University, Kano state, Huda University, Zamfara state, Franco British International University, Kanuna and Canadian University of Nigeria, FCT.
Others are Miva Open University, FCT, Gerar University of Medical Sciences, Ogun state, British Canadian University, Cross River state, Hensard University, Bayelsa State, Phoenix University, Nasarawa State Wigwe University, Rivers state and Hillside University of Science and Technology, Ekiti state.
Also, are the University of the Niger, Anambra state Elrazi University of Medical Sciences, Kano state, Venite University, Ekiti state, Shanahan University, Anambra state, the Duke Medical University, Cross River state, Mercy Medical University, Osun State, Cosmopolitan University, FCT, Iconic Open University, Sokoto State, West Midland Open University, Oyo State and Amaj University, FCT are in the list.
Others are: Prime University, FCT, El-Amin University, Niger state, College of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Kaduna state, Jewel University, Gombe, Nigerian University of Technology and Management, Lagos State, Al-Muhibbah Open University, FCT and Al-Bayan University, Kogi state.