The federal government has announced the approval for the establishment of four new universities to address the shortfall in technology, medicine and nutrition in Nigeria.
Premium Times reported that the minister of education, Adamu Adamu, who was represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Sonny Echono, disclosed this at a media briefing in Abuja on Monday, June 21.
List of states to host the new universities
1. Jigawa state
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2. Akwa Ibom state
3. Osun state
4. Bauchi states
Adamu also said the federal government will establish a National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Abuja to serve essentially as a postgraduate centre devoted to research and innovation.
The minister noted that the move was in line with a promise made by the Buhari administration to establish an apex National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Abuja with six satellite universities of technology, one in each geo-political zone of the country.
He said the NIT will be patterned after similar institutions in Singapore and Malaysia.
Four other existing technology universities to be upgraded
Meanwhile, the federal government has also resolved to upgrade and equip four existing Universities of Technology. Those to be upgraded are:
1. University of Technology, Yola (northeast)
2. University of Technology, Akure (southwest)
3. University of Technology, Owerri (southeast)
4. University of Technology, Minna (northcentral)
Two of the four new universities will also be technology-focused and would be established in 2021.
The remaining two will be focused on health, nutrition and medical sciences as Nigeria takes a strong step to medical tourism to countries like India, UAE, Egypt, Europe and the United States.
Out of the N18 billion take-off grant approved for the new project, N4 billion each will be allotted to the two Universities of Technology and N5 billion each to the two Universities of Health Science.
The funding will be drawn from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
The upgrade of the existing four universities of technology and the national institute of technology would come up in 2022.
President Buhari's personal assistant on new media, Bashir Ahmad, has also shared the development via Facebook, drawing reactions from Nigerians on the social media platform.
Philip Feese said:
"It will strengthen our technological prowess and provide job creation and a rise in GDP."
Lauwali Hasheem said:
"This another development under PMB government."
Amar Yahaya commented:
"We really appreciate this development for the approval of Federal University of Technology in my dear state(Jigawa) Sir."
Vitamin Sense said:
"Another avenue to loot our money.
"They can't even maintain to existing ones, pay lecturers, provide security for the students, employ graduates. And they are talking about building more.
"Illiteracy is very bad."
Ali Umar Mohammed said:
"He said there's no opportunity for the youths regardless of having a decent degree result, and as yet supporting establishment of new universities while opposed to contributing on building businesses organizations and industries that will oblige young people and decrease the joblessness rate! PMB once in a while need consultants!"
ASUU threatens to embark on fresh strike
Meanwhile, lecturers in public universities across the country are threatening to embark on a fresh industrial action.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) issued the threat when it accused Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, of refusing to pay the salaries and remittance of over 1000 staff for 13 months.
Lazarus Maigoro, the ASUU chairman, University of Jos, issued the threat in a press statement made available to journalists in Jos, the capital of Plateau state.