The National Universities Commission (NUC) has given provisional licences to the newly established 37 universities approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on May 15.
The Executive Secretary, of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed stated this at the presentation of provisional licences to the universities Friday in Abuja said the number of private universities in the country now stood at 147.
Prof Rasheed, said the country now has 264 universities, as access to university education remained a challenge due to the high demand and increasing number of secondary school leavers.
”The Nigerian statistics of high demand of tertiary education is grossly inadequate. Statistics put the number of enrollment in tertiary institutions at 2.23 million which is about 12 percent of the total population of 220 million,” he said.
Prof. Rasheed urged the proprietors of the newly established universities to promote learning and standards.
”In establishing universities, you don’t expect to get financial rewards. If your main motive is to make money, then you are in a wrong place. You are here to pay back to humanity”. he noted.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr David Adejo, said the federal government was committed to public private partnership, especially in education sector which gave rise to the new universities.
Mr Adejo explained that government would ensure that quality assurance and minimum standards in those universities were not compromised.
A former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, All Progressives Congress, National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, A former governors include Bayelsa Henry Dickson and Attahiru Bafarawa of Sokoto are among the 37 proprietor that received licences.
In an interview with Radio Nigeria, the proprietor of the first private University in Umuahai, Abia State, Prof. Gabriel Okenwa said they would encourage students to pursue enlightenment critically and engage the world with creativity and professionalism.