A total of 147 private universities have been approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the National Universities Commission (NUC),as of November 27, 2023.
These institutions exist alongside the universities owned by both the Federal and state governments respectively.
Incessant industrial actions, poor funding and the rot in public universities have continued to give rise to the existence of private universities in the country as their numbers grew from just three in 1999 to 147 in 2023 with the NUC noting that it has over 270 pending requests for the establishment of new private universities.
Analysis of the private universities as obtained from the website of the NUC on Tuesday by our correspondent revealed that most of these private universities are floated by religious organisations alongside past and serving politicians.
In this article, PUNCH online reviews some of the private universities floated by the Nigerian political class.
- Bells University, Ogun state- This institution was founded by former president, Olusegun Obasanjo. The institution also has on its board a former governor of Gombe state, Ibrahim Dakwambo, and a former senator representing Ogun Central, Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello.
- American University of Nigeria, Yola, Adamawa state: This school is owned by a former vice-president of Nigeria and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 general elections, Atiku Abubakar.
- Amaj University, Kwali, Abuja: This institution is owned by a former governor of Sokoto state, Attahiru Bafarawa. The University received its license in 2023 and is one of the youngest private universities in the country.
- Hensard University, Bayelsa state: Like Amaj University, Hensard is also one of the newly licensed private universities in Nigeria and is owned by a former governor of Bayelsa state, Seriake Dickson.
- PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Rivers state: A former governor of Rivers state, Peter Odili is the founder of PAMO University of Medical Sciences, the first private medical university in Nigeria. The institution also has on its board, former military administrator, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar, a senator representing Katsina South, Abu Ibrahim.
- Baze University, Abuja: A one-time senator and vice presidential candidate of the Labour Party during the 2023 presidential election, Datti Baba-Ahmed is the founder of Abuja-based University, Baze.
- Eastern Palms University, Imo state: A former governor of Imo state and senator who represented Imo West senatorial district in the ninth senate, Rochas Okorocha is the founder of this institution.
- Edwin Clark University: A former federal commissioner of Information and elder statesman, Edwin Clark is the founder of Edwin Clark University.
- Sports University, Delta State: This first private university of sports is owned by a current senator, Ned Nwoko. He obtained the license for the institution in 2021.
Meanwhile, some other private universities also have past and serving politicians as members of the Board of Trustees and governing councils.
For instance, The current First Lady and former senator representing Lagos West senatorial district, Remi Tinubu is a member of the board of trustees at Kings University in Odemu, Osun state. READ ALSO:
- EFCC arrests ‘pilot’ over alleged N1bn fraud
- 16 vessels waiting to berth at Lagos ports – NPA
- Egypt bows out in 2nd round of ITTF WTTC
- Gombe govt earmarks N5.2bn for payment of retirees’ gratuities
- Trinity University to graduate 20 first class students at maiden convocation
The Governor of Ondo state, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN is a member, board of trustees, Achievers University.
The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senator representing Imo West senatorial district, Osita Izunaso among others sit on the governing council of Abuja-based Nile University.
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Sam Ohuabunwa is the Chairman of the Council, Gregory University Uturu in Abia state.
Kaduna-based Greenfield University also has on its board, a former member of the Eighth House of Representatives, Muhammed Usman as a member among others. PUNCH ONLINE