FG presents licences to eight private universities

The Federal Government yesterday presented provisional licences to the eight newly approved private universities with caution to dispense the highest standard of quality education to Nigerians.

The Minister of State for Education, Prof Anthony Anwukah, presented the certificates, in Abuja yesterday, assisted by NUC Executive Secretary, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

Anwukah said even though the government was seeking to increase access to education, quality and relevance of the courses offered would not be compromised.

The minister noted that the eight licences issued brought the number of universities in Nigeria to 152 and the number of private universities to 68.

According to Anwukah, Nigeria’s population is 188 million and the 152 universities provide a ratio of one to 23 million Nigerians. This number, he said, was grossly inadequate compared to some other highly populated countries such as India where one university serves only a little above one million people.

To the new universities, the minister said: “You should adopt the best practices. Quality and relevance will not be compromised.”He reminded them of sanctions if the provisions of their licences were flouted.

Prof Rasheed stated that the newly licenced universities had satisfied the 14 processes leading to the offers. The processes spanned between two and 13 years.

The NUC Executive Secretary enjoined the universities to dare to introduce reviews and changes in the courses being taught for knowledge update for students.

He urged them not to replicate what the older universities may be doing wrong.The NUC boss said the new universities should not allow themselves to be forced to start on wrong footings by their mentor universities.

“You don’t have to follow everything the older universities say. Don’t allow them force you to start on wrong footings. Don’t replicate what they may be doing wrong. However, older universities can also learn from the new ones,” he said.

The eight new private universities which got their provisional licences were Anchor University in Ayobo, Lagos State, Arthur Javis University, Akpabuyo, Cross River State, Clifford University in Owerrinta, Abia State, Coal City University in Enugu, Crown Hill University, Eiyenkorin, Kwara State, Dominican University, Ibadan, Oyo State, Kola Daisi University, also in Ibadan and Legacy University, Okija, Anambra State.

The Federal Executive Council approved the universities on November 2, 2016 and they are to be mentored for the next three years by older universities, which include the University of Ibadan and the University of Nigeria.

9 Private Varsities Get Licences, 11 Receive Requirement Order

National Universities Commission, NUC, yesterday granted full operational licences to nine out of 20 private universities that were considered by the Commission, while 11 were given a grace of two years to meet the requirements or risk losing their provisional licences.

Presenting the licences to the nine lucky universities, the Executive Secretary, NUC, Professor Julius Okojie, congratulated the universities that were found worthy to be given full licence as a result of their extra effort at meeting all the requirement set forth by the Commission.

He extolled the commitment of the owners of those universities for their discipline and selflessness that led to making all the necessary sacrifice just to ensure that their universities not only got full accreditation, but also to meet the challenges of qualifying for full operational licence.

He, however, urged the remaining 11 that could not qualify to use the period within the next two years to work out their qualification, promising that the Commission would not hesitate to give them full licence if they qualify before the two years.

Fielding questions from newsmen, Okojie said the other 11 universities are expected to get their courses up to winning full accreditation and appoint governing council made up of men and women of reputation and commendable character that would oversee the running of the universities.

“The 11 universities not given full licence still have some things to put in place. All their courses must win full accreditation and they have to appoint governing council members comprising of men whose character is not in question.

“They should send names of such to us for submission to the Directorate of State Security for investigation and clearance. There must be evidence that they are financially buoyant to run the university. The Commission will visit the schools to see that these things are in place before giving them full licence”, he said.

Meanwhile, the NUC has said that private universities can apply for’);”>apply for funding for their research as there is a N3 billion research grant available and can be accessed by even scholars in the private universities.

Universities that got full licence include Salem, Caleb, Veritas, Afe Babalola, Nigerian Turkish Nile, Godfrey Okoye, Fountain, Adeleke and Western Delta Universities. Those that were extended for two years include Wesley University of Science and Technology, Landmark University, Paul University, Baze University, Obong University among others.