This development brought to 59 the number of private universities in the country.Presenting the licenses to the proprietors at the National Universities Commission (NUC), Minister of Education Malam Ibrahim Shekarau warned that engaging in any unwholesome practice by the new institutions will attract sanctions, including withdrawal of the provisional licenses.Shekarau said substantive licenses can only be issued to well-managed institutions after three years of probation, adding that government will not tolerate any breach of the conditions of approval.He identified the lack of access to university education in Nigeria as a serious challenge, pointing out that prior to the approval of the new universities; Nigeria had 129 universities serving a population of over 170 million people.He said: “In 2013, the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) has registered over 1.7 million candidates for the UTME, an increase of 13.35 per cent on the 2012 figure even though only one-third of these applicants can be admitted.”Shekarau said establishment of more private universities would partly check the proliferation of illegal universities and degree awarding mills across the country.Earlier, the Executive Sectary of NUC Professor Julius A. Okojie said with the calibre of people as trusses of the new universities, the institutions will grow faster and add values to the nation’s university system.Okojie charged the proprietors to focus their attention on staff development, saying that the commission was ready to support institutions to contribute to the development of education sector.
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