Nigeria to create six ‘Mega Universities’

The universities will be able to admit about 200,000 people each.

The National Economic Council, NEC, on Thursday approved the conversion of one university in each of the six geo-political zones to a ‘Mega University.”

The recommendation for the conversion was part of those contained in the report of the Peter Obi-led Technical Committee on the recommendations of the Needs Assessment of Nigerian Universities, CNANU. All the recommendations were approved, Mr. Obi, Governor of Anambra State told journalists after the meeting.

The NEC is made up of the president , the vice president, state governors, ministers and others.

The Committee recommended the upgrading of one university in each of the six geo-political zones to the status of a Mega University to expand their intakes from the present number of students.

Mr. Obi stated that government wants to create universities that are capable of taking up to 200,000 students as against the less than 30,000 admitted by some of the biggest universities in Nigeria.

A decision has not been taken on which universities will be considered for selection.

The committee’s report, which followed an extensive review of the CNANU report presented to the Federal Executive Council on September 19, 2012, therefore made the following recommendations towards changing the fortunes of the universities:

“The Committee agreed with CNANU that funding was a big issue in tertiary education and recommended that both the Federal and State Governments should prioritise funding by raising budgetary allocation to schools and guaranteeing that funds for education are disbursed as appropriated to ensure that the necessary facilities are provided.

“It recommended the strengthening of the composition and character, especially of external members, of the Governing Councils of the Universities by populating the board with members who have a direct stake in academics to ensure better management of the universities.

The committee had noted that the Nigerian University system is grossly understaffed and recommended the introduction of attractive incentives towards promoting post-graduate education and upgrading the academic qualifications of all lecturers to PhD level within a given period.

“The Committee also recommended the designation of a focal Federal University per geo-political zone to be upgraded towards expanding its absorptive capacity to between 150,000 – 200,000 students in the medium term,” Mr. Obi said.

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