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Nigeria: New universities start in two years

National Universities Commission

Three new universities recently established by federal government will not begin academic session until next year or two, said the National Universities Commission.

At a meeting with the newly appointed vice chancellors of the new universities, NUC executive secretary Julius Okojie, questioned about when the new academics is to commence in the new school, said, “2014, 2015”.

He explained, “It will take us one or two years to put structures into place”. Most of the universities may inherit structures from previous property they occupy, but others will be starting out on fresh land without structures.

The new federal universities– sited in Gashua, Yobe; Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi; and Gusau, Zamfara–are the last set after nine previous schools were approved to ensure every state in the country now has a federal university to guarantee “equity and access,” said Okojie.

The nine earlier universities have an estimated student population in excess of 3,000 combined, and each has received N3.5 billion for critical development–besides overhead and intervention financing from Tertiary Education Trust Fund.

Okojie said the grants totalling more than N33 billion, 10 times normal capital grant to universities annually, proved commitment to educational development.

He added each school also gets financing–N700 million for physical development and N300 million for infrastructure–this year alone to set up their structures according to their physical masterplan, which is still not ready for most of them.

Federal government also hopes to provide 20 smart boards in each federal and state university, which could possibly extend to private universities as well, noted the head of the universities commission.

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