- Some politicians are not just key players in teh nation's polity but they are a strong force in the education sector
- The likes of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and PDP's Atiku Abubakar own and run private institutions in Nigeria
- Interestingly, their institutions are located in strategic states within Nigeria and have been approved by the NUC
Legit.ng journalist Esther Odili has over two years of experience covering political parties and movements
The surge in private university establishments is attributed to ongoing challenges in public universities, such as strikes, funding issues, and infrastructure decay.
Obasanjo, Atiku, Ned Nwoko, others makes the list of owners of privatre universities in Nigeria
Nigeria currently boasts 52 federal universities, 63 state universities, and 147 private universities, according to the National Universities Commission (NUC) data.
As of Monday, November 27, 2023, The Punch reported that a total of 147 private universities have been approved by the federal government of Nigeria through the NUC.
These institutions exist alongside the universities owned by both the federal and state governments respectively.
Thwe report indicate that private universities in the country have grew from just three in 1999 to 147 in 2023 with the NUC noting that it has over 270 pending requests for the establishment of new private varsities.
Analysis of the private universities as obtained from the website of the NUC on Tuesday, November 28, revealed that most of these private universities are floated by religious organisations alongside past and serving politicians.
This article presents a review of some of the private universities floated by the Nigerian politicians:
1. Bells University (Ogun state)
This institution was founded by former president, Olusegun Obasanjo with the former governor of Gombe state, Ibrahim Dakwambo, and a former senator representing Ogun Central, Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, among its board.
2. American University of Nigeria, (Yola, Adamawa state)
This is owned by the former vice president of Nigeria and the flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar prides himself as the owner of the American University of Nigeria (AUN), following his participation in the institutions prgrammes.
3. Amaj University, (Kwali, Abuja)
Attahiru Bafarawa, a former governor of Sokoto state, owned and float this institution. The University received its license in 2023 and is one of the youngest private universities in Nigeria.
4. Hensard University, (Bayelsa state)
Like Amaj University, Hensard is also one of the newly licensed private universities in Nigeria and is owned by a former governor of Bayelsa state, Seriake Dickson.
5. PAMO University of Medical Sciences, (Rivers state)
A former governor of Rivers state, Peter Odili is the founder of PAMO University of Medical Sciences, the first private medical university in Nigeria. The institution also has on its board, former military administrator, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar, a senator representing Katsina South, Abu Ibrahim.
6. Baze University (Abuja)
Peter Obi's runnina mate and vice presidential candidate of the Labour Party during the 2023 presidential election, Datti Baba-Ahmed is the founder of Abuja-based University, Baze.
He is a one-time senator who has clearly stood out in the Nigerian political space.
7. Eastern Palms University, (Imo state)
A former governor of Imo state and senator who represented Imo West senatorial district in the ninth senate, Rochas Okorocha is the founder of this institution.
Although the ownership of the university stirred controversy in the nation's polity in year 2021.
8. Edwin Clark University (Delta state)
A former federal commissioner of Information and elder statesman, Edwin Clark is the founder of Edwin Clark University.
Situated in Kiagbodo, Delta State, central Nigeria, the ECU commenced academic activities in 2015 and has four faculties, offering programs in science, humanities, social and management sciences, agricultural sciences, and law.
9. Sports University (Delta state)
This first private university of sports is owned by a current senator, Ned Nwoko. He obtained the license for the institution in 2021.
UNILORIN: VC approves 14-day paternity leave for workers
During a press briefing, the university's Registrar, Mr Mansur Alfanla, revealed this update on Monday, November 27.
The decision is part of the recently amended conditions of service at the university, aimed at enhancing the overall working conditions.
Lawmaker push for 32 new federal varsities
Meanwhile, 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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