Nigeria on Wednesday approved the establishment of five new private universities, bringing the number of universities in the country to 122 including federal and state government owned ones.
Two of the new universities, Macpherson University, Seriki Sotayo, with University of Ibadan as mentor, and Southwestern University, Okun Owa, with University of Lagos as mentor, are located in Ogun state. Other universities are Elizade University, Ilara Mokin, Ondo state, with University of Technology Akure as mentor, Evangel University, Akaeze, Ebonyi state, with University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) as its mentor, and Gregory University, Uturu, Abia state, also with UNN as its mentor.
Announcing the approval, Labaran Maku, Nigeria's Information Minister said it was aimed at bridging the yearning gap for higher education in the country. He said the approval was granted after rigorous process.
Maku told reporters at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo that the provisional approval granted the five universities is for three years after which, if they do well will be granted full licenses.
The minister said the current 122 universities in the country are gross inadequate. One of the strategies being adopted by the government to address the situation was encouraging private individuals and groups with unquestionable commitment to education to establish private universities.
According to him, private universities would continue to play critical role in improving access to university education.