The Federal Executive Council has approved the establishment of four new private universities in Nigeria.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, announced the approvals while addressing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting of the council this year, gave names of the new universities as Greenfield University, Kaduna; Dominion University, Ibadan Oyo State;Trinity University, Ogun State and Westland University in Iwo, Osun State.
Adamu said the approvals were given because all the four universities have met the criterion for establishing a university following a visitation by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
The approvals bring the number of private universities in Nigeria to 79.
The NUC had in August 2018 said it was processing over 200 applications for new private universities in the country.
Before today’s approval, the total number of universities in the country, with over 150 million population, was 160 (40 federal universities, 45 state-owned universities and 75 private universities).
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Abubakar Rasheed, said the available universities — private, federal and states could no longer cope with the large numbers of yearly applications for admission.
Christine Ikpeme, a professor from the University of Calabar told PREMIUM TIMES at the time that the idea of such a high number of private universities is good, but that they should be better regulated.
“Some private universities engage in sharp practices whereby they ‘rent’ lecturers from other institutions during accreditation processes,” she said. “This is not ideal.”
Private universities were first licensed in Nigeria in 1999 when Babcock University, Igbinedion University and Madonna University were approved.
One more – Bowen University- was approved in 2001 before Benson Idahosa University, Covenant University and Pan-Atlantic University were added a year later.
The number has since ballooned with the federal government approving, in 2017, Admiralty Univerity, Ibusa, Delta State; Spiritan University, Nneochi, Abia State; Precious Cornerstone University, Ibadan; Pamo University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Atiba University, Oyo State; and Eko University of Medical and Health Sciences, Lagos.