Clifford University, Owerrinta, Imo State (owned by the Seventh Day Adventist Church), on Tuesday made another history when it secured provisional licence from the National Universities Commission (NUC) in Abuja.
Other recipients of the licenses are Anchor University, Ayobo, Lagos State (owned by the Deeper Christian Life Ministry); Arthur Jarvis University, Akpabuyo, Cross River State (owned by Clitter House Nigeria Limited); Coal City University, Enugu, Enugu State (owned by ATCOICOE Nigeria Limited); Crown-Hill University, Eiyenkorin, Kwara State (owned by Modern Morgy and Sons Limited); Dominican University, Ibadan, Oyo State (owned by the Order of Preachers, Nigeria, Dominican Community; Kola Daisi University, Ibadan, Oyo State (owned the Kola Daisi Foundation); and Legacy University, Okija, Anambra State (owned by the Good Idea Education Foundation).
Presenting the licences to the universities in Abuja on Tuesday, Minister of State for Education, Anthony Gozie Anwukah, said more universities are needed in the country to increase access to tertiary education.
He said the 152 universities in the country today are grossly inadequate in relation to demand.
“With these eight (new universities), it means the ratio of the universities in relation to population is 1 to 23 million people, a challenge that must be addressed, considering the huge population of Nigeria conservatively put at 170 million today”, Anwukah stated.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abubakar Rasheed, said private universities hold the future of Nigeria as some of the best teaching and learning in the country take place in them.
While saying that the new universities would be attached to older universities in the country, the NUC boss said the provisional licences have a life span of three years in the first instance before the issue of substantial licences will be determined.
He, however, warned proprietors of the newly licensed private universities against subjecting their academic staff into degrading treatment and all forms of practices inimical to freedom.