FG Plans to Approve 9 More Universities

The Federal government has concluded plans to approve nine more universities.

This was disclosed by Ibrahim Shekarau, Education Minister on February 2 in Abuja while reviewing the Nigerian Basic Education Sector 2011-2015.

“If not for technical reason, another nine would have been approved before now. Soon, we shall sort out all the outstanding issues and they will receive government approval. This will bring to 113 the number of universities in the country and 18 private universities approved in the last three years,” he said.

He also stated that the government had earmarked N1.3tn as intervention grant to its universities courtesy of the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy Assessment Programme.

Shekarau said that the NEEDS Assessment intervention grant was sequel to several deliberations between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

“We have persistent complaints from our universities about dilapidated laboratories and so on; then the government took the bull by the horn. Goodluck Jonathan set up a committee to go round the universities on the platform of NEEDS Assessment which was conducted two years ago.

“At the end of the assessment, the universities came up with a bill of N1.3tn required to address the necessary need in public universities and the government accepted it. Since the government cannot dish out N1.3tn all at once, there is an agreement between the Federal Government and the leadership of the ASUU that the needs be addressed over a period of five years with a provision of N220bn every year,” he explained.

According to him, the NEEDS intervention is in addition to normal budgetary allocations to universities and TETFund interventions, among others.

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