From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
National Universities Commission (NUC), on Friday, presented provisional license to 37 new private universities that were recently approved by the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Executive Council (FEC) shortly before the end of the administration.
The new additions brought the number of private universities in Nigeria to 147, and total of 264 universities in Nigeria.
Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, in his opening remarks, at the presentation of certificate event in Abuja, on Friday, congratulated the proprietors of the new private universities for successfully meeting the requirements for the establishment of private university in Nigeria.
He assured them of maximum support of the Commission, and encourage them to freely approach the Commission for guide and advice in order to avoid mistakes that could attract sanctions from the Commission.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, in his remarks, stressed the importance of private individuals’ participation in providing university education system in Nigeria.
He said that despite the appreciable rise in number of private universities in Nigeria, there are need for more private individuals’ investment in university education by establishing universities to augment the efforts of public universities and existing institutions
“Despite these number of universities, there is room for more. This is because our population is on significant increase, hence the increasing desire for university education, particularly among the youths,” he said.
Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, former Chief of Staff to former President Muhammadu Buhari, in his remarks, challenged the proprietors of the new universities to champion the cause of education revolution in Nigeria.
Executive Secretary, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, in his goodwill message advised the new institutions to start well and strong, define their uniqueness and character, and sustain it so they can be known and identified among their contemporaries with a trait
Former Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isah Pantami, reminded the institutions that education is changing or has changed across the world, hence the need for Universities in Nigeria to rise to the occasion of providing lifelong education and skills for their students.
He said: “universities in Nigeria should engage in critical thinking, and come up with contents that would produce potential employers instead of potential employees.”