Nine new universities were granted provisional licenses by the federal government of Nigeria.
The Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau, has said that the nine newly approved private universities will be affiliated to older generation universities for mentoring.
He explained that the universities would be mentored on academics and administration and the programme moderated by the National Universities Commission.
Speaking on Tuesday at the presentation of provisional licenses to the universities, the minister said the licenses were intended to create room for effective mentoring and qualitative growth within the first five years of operation.
“This is part of NUCs initiative for early-warning signals to detect compromise in quality for the application of corrective and remedial measures to redress such situations,” Mr. Shekarau said.
The minister said substantive licenses would only be issued to well-managed institutions after three years of probation.
“This will be given following their respective performance and growth within guidelines stipulated by the commission,” he said.
He advised that proper care should be taken to maintain the hostels, cafeteria, toilets and other facilities in the universities in such conditions that students are able to cultivate decent behaviours and manners in addition to academic excellence.
Mr. Shekarau added that upon commencement of academic activities, the universities should sustain funding towards improved infrastructure, equipment for teaching and learning.
He said human resources up to a level that would earn accreditation by NUC and other relevant professional bodies should also be improved.
He noted that the growth of private universities in Nigeria had created an environment for healthy competition that stimulates improvement in quality service delivery in the system.
The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Julius Okojie, expressed surprise that there were Ph.D. graduates who remained unemployed.
“We are going to open a portal now for those who are Ph.D. holders to apply to us for jobs,” Mr. Okojie said. “We encourage professors in Diaspora to come here and lecture between six to one years.”
He advised new universities to approach the NUC if faced with any difficulties.
The Minster of State for Education, Viola Onwuliri, advised that the institutions should have quality entrance examinations for students.
“We call on parents and teachers to ensure that the young ones, especially in this time and age where society has continued to distract people through electronic devices, help them so as to become leaders of tomorrow that Nigeria will want to have,” she said.
The Nine Universities are Augustine University, Ilara, Lagos; Chrisland University, Owode, Ogun State; Christopher University, Mowe, Ogun State; Hallmark University, Ijebu-Itele, Ogun State; Kings University, Ode-Omu, Osun State; Micheal and Cecilia Ibru University, Owhrode, Delta State; Mountain Top Unversity, Makogi/Oba Ogun state; Ritman University, Ikot-Epene, Akwa- Ibom State and Summit University, Offa, Kwara State.
Before now Nigeria had 40 Federal, 39 State and 50 private universities.