Written by Godfrey AKON

FG licences 30 new varsities in four years

The Federal Government has said it licensed 30 new universities between 2015 and 2019 as part of efforts to address inadequate access to university education in the country.

Speaking at a weekend press briefing in Abuja, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the 30 new universities bring the total number of universities in Nigeria to 169; 43 federal, 47 state and 79 private universities.

Adamu, who noted that the 169 universities have a combined carrying capacity of about 2 million spaces, said the low carrying capacity of existing universities necessitated the licensing as the number of qualified candidates was rising despite the low carrying capacity of the institutions.

The minister further disclosed that the government also licensed a total of 71 polytechnics, monotechnics, or innovative enterprise institutions, increasing the carrying capacity of the institutions from 424,715 in 2014 to 517,943 in 2019.

“When we came into office in 2015, the total number of polytechnics/monotechnics/innovative enterprise institutions in the county stood at 298 with a combined carrying capacity of 424,715 Spaces.

“To expand access to polytechnic/monotechnics/innovative enterprise institutions, we established or licensed a total of 71 such institutions during the period under review, with a carrying capacity of 93,228 spaces.  Access to such institutions has therefore increased from 424,715 in 2014 to 517,943 in 2019,” he said.

According to him, 27 new NCE-awarding institutions were approved across the six geopolitical zones bringing the number of NCE-awarding institutions in the country to 174, while also increasing their carrying capacity from 385,240 to 445,440 spaces.

Adamu said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, spent a total of N10 billion naira in 2018 on scholarship awards, adding that for the four-year period, this administration has spent a total of about N15 billion worth of scholarship awards.

“Put together, infrastructural development and capacity building from TETFund alone has cost the federal government a total of N837,016,926,844.24,” he said.



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