Prominent Nigerian Politicians Who Are Owners of Private Universities

Prominent Nigerian Politicians Who Are Owners of Private Universities

The state of public university education in Nigeria is in disarray, plagued by recurring strikes by university lecturers to protest inadequate welfare and infrastructure.

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This situation has had a detrimental impact on students, causing many to exceed the expected duration of their courses by spending more than five years on a four-year programme.

Private Universities/Politicians/Obasanjo/Atiku/Datti Baba-Ahmed
Former President Obasanjo is among Nigerian politicians who own private universities. Photo credits: @ronuspirit, @PeterObi
Source: Twitter

With successive Nigerian governments failing to address this ongoing issue, private universities have emerged as an alternative for those who can afford them.

Nigeria boasts over 100 approved private universities, according to the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) website.

Interestingly, as private universities gained recognition for their impressive performance and generated substantial revenue, some Nigerian politicians showed an intriguing interest in the sector.

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Here is a list of some prominent Nigerian politicians who own private universities within the country.

Olusegun Obasanjo (Bells University of Technology)

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo is the founder of the Bells University of Technology, situated in Ota, Ogun state.

The private university was established in 2005.

Atiku Abubakar (American University of Nigeria)

Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President of Nigeria, is the owner of the American University of Nigeria, located in Yola, Adamawa State.

The university was established in 2003.

Baze University (Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed)

Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, the vice presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 elections is the founder of Baze University.

The private tertiary institution located at Jabi in Abuja was established in 2011.

Eastern Palm University (Rochas Okorocha)

Rochas Okorocha, a former governor of Imo State and currently representing Imo West Senatorial district at the Nigerian Senate, is the founder of Eastern Palm University. Although it reportedly opened in 2017, it is worth noting that Eastern Palm University is not listed among the accredited universities on the NUC website.

It is important to highlight that the Imo State government is disputing the ownership of the university under the leadership of Hope Uzodinma, Okorocha's successor.

The Imo state government, determined to take control of the institution due to allegations of corruption, has also renamed it Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe University.

From 300k to N3.3m: Tuition fees of top private universities in Nigeria

Meanwhile, a report by Agora Policy, a Nigerian think-tank committed to finding practical solutions to urgent national challenges, has highlighted the tuition fees charged by some private universities in Nigeria.

The report by Bolaji Abdullahi recommended ways to reposition Nigeria’s public universities for national growth and competitiveness.

Among other things, Abdullahi who was a former commissioner for education in Kwara state and minister for youth development and sports, advised the federal government to be less involved in university administration.


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