Amid Failure To Meet ASUU Demands, Lawmaker Push for 32 New Federal Varsities

Amid Failure To Meet ASUU Demands, Lawmaker Push for 32 New Federal Varsities

  • The state of education in Nigeria is generally on the brink of comatose, and a fresh move by lawmakers might compound the problem
  • Investigations have confirmed that lawmakers in the national assembly are currently moving for the establishment of 32 new federal universities
  • This is coming when the federal government and academic unions are still at loggerheads over the increment of salaries and funding of universities journalist Segun Adeyemi has over 9 years of experience covering political events, civil societies, courts, and metro

FCT, Abuja - An investigation has revealed that 32 bills have been presented to the Senate and the House of Representatives within the 10th National Assembly, proposing the establishment of new universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education.

Despite this push for expansion, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other experts have cautioned the government, emphasising the need to prioritise funding for existing institutions.

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Reps, lawmakers, ASUU
Lawmakers in the House of Reps are moving to add 32 more federal universities to the already-existing 52. Photo Credit: House of Reps
Source: Facebook

As reported by Punch, Nigeria currently boasts 52 federal universities, 63 state universities, and 147 private universities, according to National Universities Commission data.

The National Board for Technical Education notes 40 federal polytechnics, 49 state-owned polytechnics, and 76 private polytechnics.

In addition, there are 70 federal and state-owned health colleges, along with 17 private health colleges.

The National Commission for Colleges of Education reports 219 colleges of education in the country.

What does the bill contain

Analysis of the bills reveals that the Speaker of the House of Representatives is spearheading the push, advocating for establishing the Federal University of Technology in Kaduna.

Similarly, the Deputy Speaker, Benjamin Kalu, is pushing to create the Federal University of Medical and Health Sciences in Bende, Abia State.

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Other proposed institutions include the Federal University of Information and Communications Technology in Lagos Island, the Federal University of Agriculture in Ute Okpa, Delta State, and the Federal University of Biomedical Sciences in Benue State.

However, critics, including the Chairman of ASUU, Prof. Gbolahan Bolarin, and the Programme Director of Reform Education Nigeria, Ayodamola Oluwatoyin, argue that these efforts represent misplaced priorities and are driven more by political goals than a genuine commitment to education.

Prof Bolarin said:

“Misplaced priority. You have institutions that are trying to stay afloat yet the only thing you can think of is to create more institutions so that your people would think you are working.
"They should concentrate more on projects that would impact the lives of their constituents instead of creating more problems for the nation.”

Oluwatoyin said:

“It is so unfortunate that we live in a country where lawmakers use matters like education to score cheap political goals. This is unheard of in any part of the world. How will you propose bills for new institutions when the existing ones have been shut down? Who advises them.”

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Japa, IPPIS causing lecturers shortage in universities, says ASUU

Japa, IPPIS causing lecturers shortage in universities, says ASUU

In another report, the rapid exit of lecturers from Nigerian Universities has begun to raise concerns about the potency of education in the country.

Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have blamed these exits on the poor salaries, which led most of them to travel abroad for greener pastures.

Some ASUU members blamed the federal government's Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) initiative.


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