20,000 direct jobs created by establishing new tertiary institutions — FG

DESPITE opposition from the high profile Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to what they describe as the proliferation of tertiary institutions in Nigeria, the federal government has revealed that the creation of additional universities, colleges, colleges and related institutions has led to massive job creation of jobs, both in the public and private sub-sectors of the education sector.

Education Minister Mallam Adamu Adamu, speaking while briefing journalists in Abuja about reforms in the education sector, added that the establishment of the tertiary institutions had resulted in the creation of more than 20,000 direct jobs made up of academic and non-academic staff.

A major grouse of ASUU against the federal government has been the consistent establishment of new tertiary institutions, especially universities, which ASUU president, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, warned should not be “focused on constituency projects.”

However, the minister noted that in line with the federal government’s policy that every state of the federation should have at least one federal university, college and a college by 2022, three new colleges were established, bringing the total number to nine from 2020.

He added that the current administration has ensured that all states of the federation now have a federal university and a college, with nine universities, nine colleges and six colleges established between 2018 and now.

Adamu further explained that at the start of the current government in 2015, Nigeria had 40 federal universities and had established a further nine universities, bringing the total number of federal universities to 49.

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“We also met a total of 39 state universities. We licensed 16 additional universities, bringing the total number of state universities to 55. The total number of public universities (both federal and state universities) now stands at 104.

“In the same vein, we licensed a total of 50 private universities. This is more than what any other government in Nigeria’s history has done. In 2014, the country had 49 private universities. The country now has 111 private universities. Taken together, Nigeria now has a total of 215 universities, both public and private.

“Despite these commendable efforts to ensure unfettered access to university education, the challenges posed by illegal universities, ‘Degree Mills’, remain. At present, the National Universities Commission (NUC) has identified about 70 illegal universities in the country. We will not rest on our belts in the crackdown on illegal universities in the country,” Adamu said.

As for colleges and related institutions, the minister said Nigeria had 24 federal polytechnics in 2014, revealed that the Buhari government had established 12 more, bringing the total number of federal polytechnics to 36.

He said: “In the same vein, in 2014 we had 41 state colleges and seven have been added, bringing the total number of state colleges to 48. We had seven private colleges in 2014. This administration licensed 41 private colleges. , bringing the number of private colleges to 48.

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“In terms of carrying capacity, the federal polytechnics had 60,800 in 2014. Today we have 63,700. The capacity of the state colleges was 52,480 in 2014. We have increased this to 60,880.

“At the beginning of this administration, the country had 21 federal colleges. In the past six years, we’ve established six more, bringing the total to 27. The process to establish nine more colleges has already begun.

“In 2014, we also inherited 46 state colleges. Between 2014 and now, we have 50 additional state colleges, bringing the total number of state colleges in the country to 96.

“In a similar vein, we met 48 private colleges when we entered. At present, we have a total of 120 private colleges. In terms of carrying capacity, we have improved the carrying capacity of federal colleges from 39,350 in 2014 to 104,450 today.

“The carrying capacity of state colleges of education has moved from 153,490 in 2014 to 405,132. Taken together, the carrying capacity of private and public colleges now stands at 509,582. I should add that the occupancy rate in some colleges is on the low side.

“The challenges of illegal colleges are just as great as those of illegal universities. We also identified an alarming number of illegal colleges, 125 in all.

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“The National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) has written to their owners to shut them down within a specified time frame, after which appropriate measures will be applied,” Adamu said.

On information and communication technology (ICT), the minister said that one of the biggest achievements his government has made in the education sector during the reporting period was the development and launch of the e-learning website for all levels of our education system.

“I would like to take this opportunity to direct all industry regulators to ensure that all educational institutions under their supervision work with the Ministry’s ICT department to develop and deploy relevant content on the website .

“Aside from easy access, this will also ensure that teaching and learning will continue seamlessly, even in the event of a pandemic or future strikes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, learning interruption was significantly reduced with the roll-out of three e-learning packages, namely (a) Inspire for Learners (b) Ignite for Education and (c) Nigeria Learning Passport.

Preliminary evidence from the publication of this year’s West African school certificate results indicated that performance last year (2021) was better than 2022. Perhaps this could be termed as a self-paced learning opportunity provided by digital learning, ” he said.

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