A memo sent to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) by the Ministry of Education for the creation of 20 new private universities has been approved.
The private universities will run on a three-year probational period, where provisional licenses will be given for operation, as stated by the education minister Adamu Adamu to journalists.
The probation period would determine whether the universities were up to par.
Following the approval of the new private institutions, Nigeria now has a total of 99 private universities.
Universities that received approval are James Hope University, Lagos; Topfaith University, Akwa Ibom; Maranathan University, Imo State; Thomas Adewumi University, Kwara State; Ave Maria University, Nasarawa State; Mudiame University, Edo State.
Other approved universities are Al-Istiqama University, Kano; NOK University, Kaduna; Maryam Abacha American University of Nigeria, Kano; Capital City University, Kano; Havilla University, Cross River; Claretian University of Nigeria, Imo; Ahman Pategi University, Kwara; University of Offa, Kwara State; and Karl-Kumm University, Plateau State.
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Others are Edusoko University, Niger State; Mewar University, Nasarawa State; Philomath University, Abuja; Khadija University, Jigawa State; and Ana University, Plateau State.
Universities by Geo-Political zones
The 20 universities are scattered across five of the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
In the Southsouth, there are three; in the Southeast, there are two; in the Northcentral, there are nine; the Northwest gets five; while the Southwest is home to one.
Universities in Nigeria
Prior to the approval by the FEC, there were 79 private universities, 43 federal universities, and 48 state universities, making the total number of universities 170.
There have been criticisms of the government from stakeholders in the educational sector who believe that the government establishes universities without “adequate plans for funding and growth”.
Explaining his disaffection with the state of higher institutions in the country, the President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Biodun Ogunyemi, said, “The federal and state governments establish universities without adequate plans for their funding and growth. In most cases, there is no need for these institutions.
“The proliferation of universities is not good for Nigeria. We create more universities than we can handle. Universities are established after a mass of ground work. There must be need assessment and a clear programme for it.
“Many of the universities established in the last 10 to 15 years were just ‘creations of our political action’; they have turned universities to mere constituency projects. We cannot expect the best from the schools because we have no plan for the academic staff and the infrastructure.
“Before creating any university, there must be concrete blueprint for the take-off of the institutions, but we create them and leave them to suffer.”