THE Federal Government on Thursday said the 197 universities in Nigeria were too small given the country’s growing population which presently stood at over 200 million.
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, represented by the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, stated this during the presentation of provisional licences to 20 newly approved private universities by the National Universities Commission.
With the approval, Nigeria now has 99 private universities, and a total of 197 universities, private and public.
“In relation to Nigeria’s population of over 200 million, the current 193 universities is quite low when compared to those of other economies such as, Brazil (209 million) 441 universities, Mexico (126 million) 375 universities, Russia (145 million) 741 universities.
“In 2019, the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board announced that out of over 1.8 million candidates registered for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, only 612,000 were admitted in Nigerian universities, representing 34 per cent. This shows gross inadequacy in terms of access. The above scenario indicates that Nigeria needs more universities.”
The universities granted provisional licences included Mudiame University, Irrua, Edo State; James Hope University, Lagos; Maryam Abacha American University of Nigeria, Kano; Capital City University, Kano; Ahman Pategi University, Pategi, Kwara State; and University of Offa, Kwara State.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Prof. Sunny Eromosele, promoter of Mudiame University, Irrua, Edo State, hailed the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for approving the establishment of the universities.