Nigeria: Number of Private Universities Hits 149 As FG Approves 2 More

22 February 2024

The federal government has approved the establishment of two more private universities in Nigeria, bringing the total number to 149.

With the approval, Nigeria now has a total 274 universities, makin up 149 private, 63 State and 62 federal universities.

The newly approved universities are Lighthouse University, Evbuobanosa, Edo state, and the African School of Economics, FCT.

During the Presentation of Provisional Licences to the two universities in Abuja on Thursday, Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, said the two universities were approved at the Federal Executive Council on December 13, 2023

Mamman urged the proprietors of the universities to capture skills and entrepreneurship which are the current thinking of the government.

He said a substantive licence would be issued to the universities if they meet the requirements of quality assurance three years after probation.

He also warned that the provision of the licences may be withdrawn if they fail to meet the full requirements.

While noting that the country's population is forecasted to increase up to 400 million by 2050, he said, "This should therefore evoke a sense of urgency in preparation to cater for the needs of this anticipated population.

"As long as the gap of access to University education continues to widen and the enrolment of students in excess of the standard carrying capacity of the Nigerian University System persists, government will continue to welcome proposals for the funding and infrastructural development," he said.

Earlier, the Acting Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Chris Maiyaki, said private universities bring certain uniqueness to the Nigerian university landscape.

Maiyaki noted that while the commission encouraged the innovative posture of some of these private universities, the ministry through the commission embarked on radical reengineering of curricula to meet best global standards.

"It is also 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 sustainablity of institutions.

"It has been further reviewed to give some latitude to the proprietors on the issue of appointment of principle officers .

"We continue to reemphasised and stress that the venture of establishing private universities is not for profit, it is a social service and a journey of passion," he said.

He added that if the infraction occurs during the probationary period, it would lead to a withdrawal of their provisional licences

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