President Bola Tinubu has given the approval for the commencement of academic activities of six out of the 14 new universities established in the last days of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, made this known on Wednesday, after a closed-door meeting with President Tinubu at the State House, Abuja.
Prof Mamman stated that the initial phase will involve the launch of two universities in the field of agriculture, two as colleges of education, and two focusing on the field of medicine.
According to him: “There are very many, probably about a dozen of them, if not more than a dozen or 14, that’s the number and you know tertiary institutions are highly capital-intensive, they need a lot of money, especially at that take-off stage, for infrastructure, staff recruitment and all other needs.
“By the time you want to start about 12, 14 institutions at once, it is a very heavy burden on the finances of government.”
The minister affirmed that these institutions are strategically aligned with the key mandates and priorities of President Tinubu’s administration.
Dr. Mamman added: “Ordinarily, we would have said we’ll review whether we should go ahead with that, but most of them are specialised institutions; colleges of education, agriculture and medicine; they are institutions that will support some of the mandates, the priority areas of this government.
“We will need trained teachers, which colleges of education will provide; the same thing with agriculture. That’s why the government has not stepped down that approval; instead, the President, in his wisdom, said we should stagger their implementation on the ground of funds. We’re starting with about six, two each of agriculture, colleges of education and medicine.”
Some of the universities established during the said period are David Nweze Umahi Federal University of Medical Sciences, Uburu; Federal University of Transport Daura, Katsina; Shehu Shagari University of Education, Sokoto; and Admiralty University Ibusa, Delta State.
The minister mentioned that the President also approved the completion of the National Library which has been projected to be completed in 21 months as the nation’s depository.
“On the National Library, a national monument, I briefed the President about the need to get it completed. He is happy with the proposition,” he affirmed.