The Federal Government appears unconcerned about the ongoing strike by members of the the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), as President Muhammadu Buhari presided over a meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) that approved the establishment of 12 new private universities.
Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, who made the announcement on behalf of the Minister of Education, stated that the 12 private universities will be mentored by existing universities.
Aside from that, the new universities will receive mentoring on the recruitment of principal officers, academic, and administrative staff, as well as the availability of human and material resources for the start of any academic program, among other things.
Keep in mind, Some education stakeholders have criticized the government on numerous occasions for the proliferation of tertiary institutions while neglecting the old ones.
However, in justifying the latest action, Mohammed stated that Nigeria lacks adequate universities to accommodate the teeming population of youths seeking university education.
He stated that the memo was presented by the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, on behalf of the National Universities Commission (NUC), and it was approved by the cabinet.
Kano, Niger, Gombe, Sokoto, Delta, Abia, Anambra, and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, are among the states that will benefit. “The memo for the issuance of provisional licenses for the establishment of 12 proposed private universities was approved by Council,” he said.
“The proposed private universities are Pen Resource University Gombe, Gombe State; Al-Ansar University, Gombe State; and Al-Ansar University, Gombe State.”
Maiduguri University, Borno State; Margaret Lawrence University, Delta State; Khalifa Ishaku Rabiu University Kano, Kano State; Sports University Idumuje Ugboko, Delta State; Bala Ahmed University Kano; Saisa University of Medical Sciences and Technology, Sokoto State; Nigerian-British University Hasa, Abia State; Peter University Acina-Onene, Anambra State; Newgate University, Minna, Niger
He indicated that relevant government ministries and agencies were collaborating with striking unions such as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Educational Institutions (NASU), and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) to end the strike.
When asked to provide compelling reasons,
He questioned why the government would approve more universities while ASUU is still on strike, saying, “Can we say that because ASUU is on strike, we will not have new universities when we know that today, 65 percent of eligible students in the universities are just roaming the streets?” When we consider that there are approximately 5,000 Nigerian students in Ukraine alone today.
“I believe the total number of Nigerian students outside of Nigeria is around 165,000.” We have a population of approximately 200 million people and only about 200 universities, whereas countries such as Indonesia have approximately 1,200 universities.
We cannot sit back and do nothing because ASUU is on strike and will not expand our educational facilities.”
You inquired whether the ASUU issue had been discussed.
in the council? We have ministers and agencies working full-time on ASUU and labor unrest concerns every day. No, you do not discuss every issue in Council.
“However, I can assure you that no government will simply sleep and pretend that ASUU is not on strike, but that there is engagement going on.”the meeting of the FEC.