No fewer than 20 applications have been processed for the establishment of private universities in Nigeria, Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has said.
The minister said the applications had scale through relevant agencies of the ministry and awaiting the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Adamu who stated this at the 2020 annual ministerial press briefing in Abuja, said the new universities, if approved by FEC, would significantly increase the opportunity for more people to gain admission into tertiary institutions in the country.
“Nigeria currently has 44 federal and 50 state universities, bringing the total number of public universities in Nigeria to 94. As at last count, Nigeria has 79 private universities, bringing the total of universities in Nigeria to 173 with a combined carrying capacity of over 2.5 million.”
The Minister, however, said the figure was still low compared to the population of the country and number of applicants seeking opportunity to acquire university education.
He said in 2020, the Federal Government took steps to increase the carrying capacity and access to university education by giving approval for the establishment of four new public universities, six polytechnics and six federal colleges of education.
He said plans are underway to establish two new federal polytechnics in Monguno, Borno State and Wannune, Benue State with October 2021 as their take off date. This, he said, was to complement the effort of other institutions in providing quality and affordable education to Nigerians.
The minister said in the cause of accreditation in 2020, it was discovered that 22 colleges of education were operating illegally, and that they had been shut down, while investigations are ongoing to determine the level of culpability of their promoters.