The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the establishment of five additional private universities to promote quality university education in the country.
The Minister of Education, Prof. Rukayyat Rufa’i, disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of the weekly FEC meeting, which was presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo, at Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Council had in 2011 approved provisional licenses for the establishment of four private universities.
No fewer than 18 universities have so far been established across the country by the President Goodluck Jonathan's led administration.
They include nine public and nine private universities.
Rufa’I said that prior to the approval of the five additional private universities, the country had 117 universities, serving the over 150 million Nigerians.
“The 117 that we have and with the gracious approval of the Federal Executive Council today of additional five private universities, now the country will boost of 117 in relation to the additional five which will give us 122 universities both States, Federal and also private.
“So, we have gone through all the criteria that we have, we have a guideline through NUC and all these private universities have undergone this rigorous screening in terms of fulfilling the criteria.”
The minister said that the licenses to be given to the affected universities next Monday would be provisional for a period of three years.
She said that the ministry, through the National Universities Commission (NUC), would re-asses the universities to ensure strict adherence to the NUC’s guidelines in relation to infrastructural facilities, finance and staffing.
The five new private universities approved by FEC are Elizade University at Ilara Mokin, Ondo State, with Federal University of Technology, Akure, as its mentor; Evangel University at Akaeze, Ebonyi State, with University of Nigeria, Nsukka, as its mentor and Gregory University Uturu, Abia State, with University of Nigeria, Nsukka, as its mentor.
Others are McPherson University, Seriki Sotayo, Ogun State, with University of Ibadan as its mentor and Southwestern University, Okun Owa, Ogun State, with University of Lagos as its mentor.