The Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, has approved the issuance of provisional licences for the establishment of two new private universities in the country.
They are the Edwin Clarke University, situated in Kiagbodo, Delta State, and the Hezekiah University in Umudi, Imo State.
Once the operating licences are issued, they will bring the number of private universities in the country to 62.
Minister of Information, Senator Patricia Akwashiki, who alongside the Minister of National Planning, Abubakar Sulieman, briefed State House correspondents, after the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting said, the approval was given after the National Universities Commission, NUC, explained to Council why the two universities deserved approvals.
According to Akwashiki, the universities would help to address the inadequate access to university education and enrolment of students in the country.
“The Minister of State for Education, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, told Council that in a country of over 160 million people, the present universities were not enough to absorb the teeming youths seeking admission, hence the need to approve additional universities.
“The establishment of Edwin Clark University will address the inadequate access to university education and enrolment of students in excess of the carrying capacity of the universities. In addition, the establishment of the university will also address the development challenges of the Niger Delta in particular and also the wider global community as a whole,” Akwashiki said.
The Council had earlier in February approved the issuance of operating licences to nine new private universities in Nigeria.
The private universities earlier approved were; Augustine University, Ilara, Lagos State; Chrisland University, Owode, Ogun State; Christopher University, Mowe, Ogun State; Hallmark University, Ijebu Itele, Ogun State; Kings University, Ode Omu, Osun State; Michael and Cecilia Ibru University, Orode, Delta State; Mountain Top University, Ogun State, Ritman University, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State and Summit University, Offa, Kwara State.