By, Frank Ikpefan
Twenty newly established private universities that were given temporary licenses by the Federal Executive Council on Thursday from the National University Commission (NUC).
The Minister of Education, Adam Adam, handed over the licenses to the universities in Abuja.
The minister, represented by his state minister Emeka Nwajiuba, instructed operators to adhere to established standards for their establishment.
Adamu said approval of the university’s establishment is a testament to the federal government’s continued partnership with the private sector.
He said there was an urgent need to bridge the education gap, which was further compounded by what he described as a “gross inadequacy” of the approach to university enrollment.
He said that with an additional 20 universities, Nigeria boasts 99 private universities.
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The Minister said that there is a need to establish more universities that would respond to the challenges of admission to universities by a huge population of future students.
He therefore advised university owners to maintain funds to improve teaching infrastructure and equipment.
NUC Executive Secretary, prof. Abubakar Rasheed said the approval was a significant achievement for Nigerian universities.
Rasheed said the commission appreciated the role of private universities in providing quality university education.
He praised the minister for using his goodwill to persuade the FEC to approve the universities.
Owner and founder of Zenith Bank dr. Jim Ovia of James Hope University of Lekki in Lagos assured that the owners of the university would commit themselves to abide by the rules and regulations on their establishment.
Ovia said the establishment of new universities has made it possible to create an educational platform for mentoring young people.