FG Approves Establishment of 2 New Private Universities

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The Federal Government has approved the establishment of two new private universities – Lighthouse University, Evbuobanosa, Edo state and African School of Economics, FCT.
The approval brings the number of private universities to 149 and a total number of universities in the country to 274.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports
the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman presented provisional licences to the two universities in Abuja on Thursday.
Speaking at the event, the Minister said the two institutions were approved by President Bola Tinubu at the Dec. 13, 2023 Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
Mamman charged the proprietors of the universities to prioritise skills and entrepreneurship which, according to him, were the current thinking of the government.
He said substantive licences would be issued to the universities after a three-year probation and only if they met the requirements of quality assurance.
The minister, therefore, warned that the provisional licences might be withdrawn after three years  probation if they fail to meet the full requirements.
Justifying the approval of the institutions, Mamman said the Tinubu’s administration
Is ready to work with the private sector on access to university education and infrastructural development.
“As you are probably aware, Nigeria currently has the largest economy in Africa with great potentials. The country’s population is forecasted to increase up to four hundred million by the year 2050.
“This should therefore evoke a sense of urgency in preparation to cater for the needs of this anticipated population.
“Government being well aware that education holds the key to the preparation we speak of, will continue to welcome partnership with the private sector, especially in the area of university education,” he said
On quality assurance, Mamman urged the universities to maintain the highest standards in the adoption of best practices.
He also advised that upon commencement of academic activities, the universities should sustain funding towards improving infrastructure, equipment for teaching and learning, as well as human resources up to a level that would earn them full accreditation.
On certificate racketeering, the minister warned that the ministry would go after anyone with fake university certificates with the wrath of the law.
Earlier, the Acting Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Chris Maiyaki, said private universities had brought certain uniqueness to the Nigerian university landscape.
“It is pertinent that the establishment of more private universities, under the strict supervision of the NUC is an important antidote to the proliferation of illegal universities or degree mills across the country.
“I wish to enjoin you to acquaint yourselves with the code of governance for private universities which aims to enhance the successful running and sustainability of institutions,” he said.
Maiyaki encouraged the proprietors to ensure that quality is not compromised for profit motives, as any operation outside the provision of NUC guidelines would attract sanctions.

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