FG okays six new private varsities

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Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The Federal Government has approved the establishment of six new private universities in the country.

The decision was reached at a meeting of the Federal Executive Council held on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, briefed State House correspondents at the end of meeting which was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

President Muhammadu Buhari is currently on an official visit to Kano State.

With the approval, private universities in the country are now 74.

Adamu listed the newly-approved private universities to include Admiralty University, Ibusa, Delta State; Spiritan University, Nneochi, Abia; Precious Cornerstone University, Ibadan; Pamo University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt; Atiba University, Oyo State; and the Eko University of Medical and Health Sciences, Lagos.

The minister said the National Universities Commission has been asked to henceforth be tough on universities that operate below standard.

“There are some more applications and I believe we (Ministry of Education) will still bring more for council approvals.

“The NUC is going to take the issue of accreditation very seriously and if any university fails to meet their (NUC) standard, we are going to deregister their courses and if enough courses are deregistered, it will lead to the closure of the university,” he said.

Adamu also spoke on the industrial action embarked upon by non-teaching staff unions in the universities under the umbrella of the Joint Action Committee, saying some of the issues raised had been thrashed out.

He said,  “As far as I know, we had sat down with the unions, we met and these issues had been thrashed out. I don’t know that there was a problem that arose later because I travelled out of the country and came back yesterday (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.”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, told reporters that he briefed FEC members on Buhari’s recent visits to  Côte d’Ivoire and Jordan as well as the government’s recent decision on Libya slave trade.

He said, “On the issue of Libya, of course, it has been in the news in the last two weeks on trading in slaves; also, the imprisonment in various detention centres of Nigerians.

“What we have done is that first of all, we have got our Charge D’ Affairs in Tripoli to come to Abuja to give us the full details of what is actually going on there. How many Nigerians are in detention and are trying to come home?”

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