From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has approved six new private universities.
This brings the total number of private universities in the country to 84. There are 40 federal universities while state universities are 44.
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, at the post-FEC briefing, told newsmen the names of the new universities are: Admiralty University, Ibusa, Delta State; Spiritan University, Nneochi, Abia; and Precious Cornerstone University, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Others are Pamo University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Atiba University, Oyo State and Eko University of Medical and Health Sciences, Lagos.
The National Universities Commission (NUC) has been given marching orders to delist any university that does not meet the standard.
Adamu said: “The Education Ministry presented a memo, for the approval of six new private universities and they were approved. There are some more applications and I believe we will still bring more for council’s approval.
“The NUC is going to take the issue of accreditation very seriously and if any university fails to meet the standard, we are going to de-register their courses and if enough courses are de-registered, it will lead to closure of the university.”
The minister also spoke on the strike embarked upon by non-teaching staff unions in the universities.
“As far as I know, we sat down with the unions, we met and these issues were thrashed out. I don’t know that there was problem which arose later because I travelled out of the country and came back on Tuesday. But, as far as I am concerned, these things had been addressed before I left and the formula that was used to share the money was agreed by them. They sat down with the officials in the Ministry of Education and agreed. So, the money was not for ASUU alone, it was for all the unions.”
On the issue of salary shortfall, Adamu said: “The shortfall in salary is being addressed.
On his part, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said he briefed Council on President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Abidjan, Côte d’ Ivoire, as well as Jordan and government’s most recent decision on the Libyan slave trade.
“How many Nigerians are in detention and are trying to come home? So, once we establish that and we are given all those facts, we are now meeting with various agencies like NEMA and NAPTIP; to arrange evacuation and this will be done in co-ordination with International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and see if we can very quickly repatriate all our Nigerian nationals who are there who want to return home,” Onyeama said.