President Bola Tinubu has approved the commencement of academic activities at six out of the 14 new universities established during President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, disclosed this on Wednesday after a closed-door meeting with President Ahmed Tinubu at the State House in Abuja.
He said the government has decided to stagger their implementation with a focus on six of the Institutions in agriculture, education and medicine.
“We’re starting with about six, two each of agriculture, colleges of education and medicine,” he said.
He added that the President’s decision stems from the fact that the take-off of the universities require funding, adding that it will not be prudent to start up all the institutions at once.
“ Honestly 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 takeoff stage, for infrastructure, staff recruitment and all other needs.
“So by the time you want to start off about 12, 14 institutions at once, it is a very heavy burden on the finances of the government. So, that’s why,” he said.
He said the government did not step down the approval of the remaining institutions because most of them are specialized institutions; colleges of education, agriculture, medicine are institutions that will support some of the mandates and priority areas of the government.
“We will have a need for trained teachers which colleges of education will provide and the same thing with agriculture.
“So, that’s why the government has not stepped down that approval. Instead, the president in his wisdom said we stagger their implementation on the grounds of funds, essentially,” he said.
The minister stated the Tinubu administration plans to be conservative about the pace of development of tertiary institutions and explained that its priority is on institutions that provide skills that enable its graduates to stand on their own.
He also revealed that President Tinubu has given the go-ahead to complete the abandoned multi billion-naira National Library Complex in Abuja as an important educational institution for the nation.
The minister noted that all relevant stakeholders including the government, the consultants and the contractors involved will work together to review the project to determine what is left to be done and the cost.