BEVERLY HILLS, March 27, (THEWILL) – There are currently 197 universities in Nigeria; 98 are public while 99 are privately owned.
But despite the greater number of private universities than public, they only account for a little over 5 percent of total students’ enrolment, while the public universities carry the bulk of almost 95 percent.
Analysts are of the view that the poor students’ enrolment in private universities has to do with affordability.
Average tuition fees asides other payments in private universities in Nigeria are between N600,000 and beyond.
Some public universities, however, peg tuition at about N50,000, depending on the course of study.
According to the National Universities Commission (NUC), there are 2.1 million university students currently.
The Executive Secretary of the NUC, Abubakar Rasheed, had at the presentation of strategic documents approving the upgrade of three institutions in Delta State to universities, said “We have only 2.1 million university students and only 5 percent are accounted for in the 99 private universities.
“Today, Delta State with this three will have four state universities, making it the state with the highest number of public universities in the country. It is something worth celebrating. We advise the Governor to kindly make the universities to serve the purpose they are created for by providing sustainable funding.
“With this, we now have 197 universities in the country, 98 of them are public universities, and 99 of them are private. The total enrolment in the 99 private universities is slightly over 5 percent of the total enrolment in the university system. So we need governors who are education-friendly to come up with this initiative and to follow it up with concrete plans and arrangements for the success of the universities so established.”
Rasheed, at the presentation of the Letter of Recognition, charged Delta State’s Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to provide sustainable financial resources for the survival of the universities.
On his part, Governor Okowa said the rapid increase in demand for degree programmes necessitated the upgrade of the institutions. He said that the Delta State University, Abraka, had overstretched its capacity, noting that there was need for the universities to broaden the knowledge of learners.
The approved universities are: Delta State University, Agbor, Denis Osadebe University, Asaba and the Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro, in addition to already existing Delta State University.
The state has two federal universities: Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, and Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, bringing to six the number of universities in Delta.