Amid the ongoing shutdown of academic activities in public universities, the Federal Government of Nigeria has approved the establishment of twelve (12) new private universities in the country.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have been at loggerheads with the Federal Government since 2009 over an agreement reached which include the revitalization of universities.
In 2020, under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, ASUU embarked on the longest strike ever recorded in the history of the country leading to a shutdown of public universities for 9 months.
The strike however siezed to stop as ASUU and the Federal Government are yet to find a middle ground to solve the unending issue. In 2022, ASUU commenced a one month warning strike hoping to gain the attention of the Federal Government to revisit their agreements.
After the warning strike elapsed, the Federal Government had not reached out to ASUU, forcing the union to extend the strike by another eight weeks which is expected to end by May 14, 2022.
In the midst of the ongoing crisis with public universities, the Federal Government of Nigeria approved the establishment of 12 new private universities to allow Nigerians explore the private university option.
Although the newly licensed universities were private institutions, the government has also approved the establishment of new public universities recently despite the crisis plaguing the existing ones.
The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who spoke on behalf of the Minister of Education briefed the Federal Executive Council during a meeting on Monday in Abuja on behalf of the Ministry of Education, said the 12 proposed universities would be mentored by already existing ones in their various locations.
The proposed private universities includes:
- PEN Resource University, Gombe, Gombe State, to be mentored by Modibbo Adamawa University of Technology, Yola;
- Al-Ansar University, Maiduguri, Borno State, to be mentored by the University of Maiduguri;
- Margaret Lawrence University, Calilee, Delta State, to be mentored by Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State;
- Khalifa Isiyaku Rabiu University, Kano, Kano State, to be mentored by Bayero University Kano, Kano State.
- Sports University, Idumuje, Ugboko, Delta State, to be mentored by the University of Benin, Edo State;
- Baba Ahmed University, Kano, Kano State to be mentored by Bayero University Kano;
- SAISA University of Medical Sciences and Technology, Sokoto, Sokoto State to be mentored by Usmanu Danfodio University.
- Nigerian British University, Asa, Abia State to be supervised by the University of Port Harcourt;
- Peter University, Achina-Onneh, Anambra State, to be mentored by Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka;
- Newgate University, Minna, Niger State to be supervised by the Federal University Minna, Niger State;
- European University of Nigeria, Duboyi, Abuja, FCT, to be mentored by the University of Abuja;
- North West University, Sokoto, Sokoto State to be mentored by Usmanu Danfodio University.
The Minister added that the mentoring universities would oversee the following activities of the new universities which include: “recruitment of principal officers, academic, and administrative staff; availability of human and material resources for the commencement of any academic programme; implementation of carrying capacity; assistance in staff development; moderation of students examination and the results; general quality assurance activities; moderation of admission; as well as external examination moderation.”