Lawmakers propose 32 universities.

Lawmakers propose 32 universities.

Lawmakers in Nigeria have tabled 32 bills before the Senate and the House of Representatives for the creation of new universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education. However, experts and the Academic Staff Union of Universities have warned against establishing new institutions without proper funding for existing ones.

The Current Education Landscape

Nigeria currently has a total of 52 federal universities, 63 state universities, and 147 private universities, according to data from the National Universities Commission. The National Board for Technical Education reports that there are 40 federal polytechnics, 49 state-owned polytechnics, and 76 private polytechnics. Additionally, there are 70 federal and state-owned colleges of health, along with 17 private colleges of health. The National Commission for Colleges of Education puts the number of colleges of education in Nigeria at 219.

The Proposed Institutions

An analysis of the bills reveals that the Speaker of the House of Representatives is leading the push for new institutions. Some of the proposed establishments include the Federal University of Technology in Kaduna, the Federal University of Medical and Health Sciences in Bende, Abia State, the Federal University of Information and Communications Technology in Lagos Island, and the Federal University of Agriculture in Ute Okpa, Delta State. Other bills seek to establish the Federal University of Biomedical Sciences in Benue State, the Federal College of Health Sciences in Gaya, the Federal College of Dental Technology in Faggae, and the Federal College of Agriculture in Agila, Benue State, among others.

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Expert Opinions

Prof. Gbolahan Bolarin, the Chairman of ASUU at the Federal University of Minna, believes that the lawmakers’ focus on creating new institutions is a misplaced priority. He argues that existing institutions are struggling and need more support instead of adding to the problem. Ayodamola Oluwatoyin, the Programme Director of Reform Education Nigeria, criticizes the lawmakers for using education as a means to score political points. Oluwatoyin questions the wisdom of proposing bills for new institutions when existing ones are facing closures.

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