The National Universities Commission (NUC) on Thursday in Abuja presented provisional licences to 12 new private universities.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu presented the licences to the proprietors of the universities.
The universities are the Pen Resource University, Gombe; Al-Ansar University, Maiduguri, Borno State; Margaret Lawrence University Galilee, Delta State and Khalifa Isiyaku Rabiu University, Kano, Kano State.
Also, Sports University, Idumuje, Ugboko, Delta State; Bab Ahmed University, Kano, Kano State; Saisa University of Medical Sciences and Technology, Sokoto, Sokoto State and the Nigerian British University, Asa, Abia State.
Others are Peter University, Achina/Onneh, Anambra State; Newgate University, Minna, Niger State; European University of Nigeria, Duboyi, Abuja, FCT and Northwest University, Sokoto, Sokoto State.
Speaking at the event, the minister said while the number of universities may seem large, that there is need to establish more universities in the country,
“Government is also well aware of the need to improve the country’s Human Development index ranking knowing that countries that are consistently well-ranked in human development indices have maintained a respectable number of universities relative to their population.
“In the 2020 UN Human development index, Nigeria dropped three places to 161 out of 189 countries and territories. These are some of the matters we aim to address.
“As usual the provisional approval for these universities to operate is intended to create room for effective mentoring and qualitative growth within the first three years of operation,” Adamu said.
He said the universities would be affiliated to older generation universities for academic and administrative mentoring which would be moderated by the NUC.
He urged the proprietors to sustain funding towards improving infrastructure, equipment for teaching and learning as well as human resources up to earn the universities accreditation by NUC.
Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, the Executive Secretary NUC, commended the proprietors of the new universities.
He said private universities bring uniqueness to the Nigerian university landscape.
Dr. Muhammed Dikwa, the Proprietor of Al-Ansar University, Maiduguri, Borno, speaking on behalf of the proprietors, assured the NUC that the newly licenced universities would observe all the guidelines set out by the NUC and ensure that qualitative education was not compromised.
The National Executive Council (NEC) approved the establishment of the universities on April 6. There are now a total of 111 private universities in the country.