The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 sanctioned the establishment of nine new private universities in the country,bringing the number of private universities in Nigeria ti 59.
Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka said the nine universities approved were: Augustine University, Ilara, Lagos State; Chrisland University, Owode, Ogun State; Christopher University, Mowe, Ogun State; Hallmark University, Ijebu Itele, Ogun State; Kings University, Ode Omu, Osun State; Michael and Cecilia Ibru University, Prose, Delta State; Mountain Top University, Ogun State, Ritman University, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State and Summit University, Offa, Kwara State.
Also speaking to State House correspondents was the Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau who said the exorbitant fees charged as tuition by the private universities was government’s business.
He said: “As far as government is concerned, all federal government universities are tuition-free. Whatever the universities are charging are so minimal for some day-to-day activities: games fees, union fees and some other fees.
“Of recent, I had cause to ask the NUC to regulate kind of minimum because there is a university that is charging as low as N20,000, N15,000. Some charge N30,000 to N80,000 or so which is a composition of a number of different kinds of fees. But basically, no university owned by government is charging tuition fee.
“But the private universities are like any other private institutions: private primary school, private secondary school. All that is the responsibility of government is to ensure that the standards are maintained.
“We are to ensure that they are operating within the minimum required standard, and that is the responsibility of the NUC in terms of their facilities, staffing and so on.
“The accreditation of any universities or courses has nothing to do with the fees they charge just like the private hospitals.
“Government really does not have anything to do as far as what the private institutions are charging. Tuition is free in public schools.”