The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the establishment of four new private universities in Nigeria.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who announced the approvals while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the first meeting of the council this year, said the new universities are Greenfield University, Kaduna; Dominion University, Ibadan Oyo State;Trinity University, Ogun State and Westland University in Iwo, Osun State.
Adamu said the approvals were given because all the four universities have met the criterion for establishing a university following a visitation by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
The approvals bring the number of private universities in Nigeria to 79.
The NUC had in August 2018 said it was processing over 200 applications for new private universities in the country.
Before today’s approval, the total number of universities in the country, with over 150 million population, was 160 (40 federal universities, 45 state-owned universities and 75 private universities).
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Abubakar Rasheed, said the available universities — private, federal and states could no longer cope with the large numbers of yearly applications for admission.
Recall that private universities were first licensed in Nigeria in 1999 when Babcock University, Igbinedion University and Madonna University were approved.
One more – Bowen University- was approved in 2001 before Benson Idahosa University, Covenant University and Pan-Atlantic University were added a year later.
The number has since ballooned with the federal government approving, in 2017, Admiralty Univerity, Ibusa, Delta State; Spiritan University, Nneochi, Abia State; Precious Cornerstone University, Ibadan; Pamo University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Atiba University, Oyo State; and Eko University of Medical and Health Sciences, Lagos.
Skyline University, Kano, was the only one licensed in 2017.