From Fred Ezeh and Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
National Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the plan by Delta State Government to convert its three tertiary institutions to degree awarding institutions, thus making it the state with the highest number of degree awarding institutions in Nigeria.
The upgraded institutions are Delta State College of Education, Agbor, which was upgraded to University of Education; Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, was upgraded to University of Science and Technology, while Delta State University, was upgraded to Delta State University of Science and Agriculture.
Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, handed over the provisional license for the institutions to the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, in Abuja, on Friday, with a charge for strict compliance with the law guiding university operations in Nigeria.
Prof. Abubakar, in his remarks, commended the state government for being the state with the highest number of public universities in Nigeria, urging the governor to ensure the institutions get the necessary support, financial and otherwise.
Delta state Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, who led state delegation to the headquarters of NUC in Abuja, for the occasion, stated that the quest for more universities in the state came as a result of increase demand for degree programmes in the state, confirming that Delta State University, Abraka, has reached its peak and needed assistance.
He said: “In the last decade, we have witnessed a drastic drop for demand for programmes offered by higher institutions other than universities. In the 2019/ 2020 admission year, 25,896 candidates chose Delta State University, Abraka, as first choice, out of which 4,854 candidates got admission.