The National Universities Commission (NUC) has given provisional licences to the newly established private universities approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Abubakar Rasheed, executive secretary, NUC, while making this known at the presentation of provisional licences to the universities on Friday, June 9, said that the number of private universities in the country currently stands at 147.
Rasheed further noted that investment in tertiary education was a pre-requisite for human capital development in the country.
He said that access to university education remained a challenge due to the high demand and increasing number of secondary school graduates.
Rasheed noted that, “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 percent of the total population of 220 million.”
Rasheed also charged 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.
He said that, “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,” he added.
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.
Also, the former minister of communication and digital economy, Isa Pantami, challenged the proprietors on sustainability of the universities.
Pantami said that, “The 264 universities that we have in Nigeria is encouraging but we need to improve on the quality of what we teach the students in our university.
“We should focus more on producing potential employers not employees and producers rather than potential job seekers.
“Education is no more about lecturers driving you, it is no more about garbage in and garbage out.
“Our students must tackle complex problems which will enable them to be self-reliant,” he added.
Pantami also called for the need to review the entire curriculum of university that would focus on ICT.
Meanwhile, former governor of Cross River state, Donald Duke, All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, former chief of staff to former president Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Gambari, among others, graced the occasion.
The newly licensed private universities include:
1. Rayhaan University, Kebbi state.
2. Muhammad Kamalu-Deen University, Kwara state.
3. Sam Maris University, Ondo state.
4. Aletheia University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun state.
5. Lux Mundi University, Abia state.
6. Maduka University, Enugu state.
7. Peaceland University, Enugu state
8. Amadeus University, Abia state.
9. Vision University , Ogun state.
10. Azman University, Kano state.
11. Huda University, Zamfara state.
12. Franco British International University, Kanuna stare.
13. Canadian University of Nigeria, FCT.
14. Miva Open University, FCT.
15. Gerar University of Medical Sciences, Ogun state.
16. British Canadian University, Cross River state.
17. Hensard University, Bayelsa state.
18. Phoenix University, Nasarawa State
19. Wigwe University, Rivers state.
20. Hillside University of Science and Technology, Ekiti state.
21. University of the Niger, Anambra state.
22. Elrazi University of Medical Sciences, Kano state.
23. Venite University, Ekiti state.
24. Shanahan University, Anambra state.
25. Duke Medical University, Cross River state.
26. Mercy Medical University, Osun state.
27. Cosmopolitan University, FCT.
28. Iconic Open University, Sokoto state.
29. West Midland Open University, Oyo state.
30. Amaj University, FCT.
31. Prime University, FCT.
32. El-Amin University, Niger state.
33. College of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Kaduna state.
34. Jewel University, Gombe state.
35. Nigerian University of Technology and Management, Lagos state.
36. Al-Muhibbah Open University, FCT.
37. Al-Bayan University, Kogi state. (NAN)