The Federal Executive Council at its usual Wednesday meetings approved the issuance of operating licenses to nine new private universities in Nigeria.
The meeting was chaired by Vice-President Namadi Sambo.
Once the operating licenses are issued, there will be 60 private universities in Nigeria.
The Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, addressing journalists after the council meeting listed the new private universities as 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, Orode, Delta State; Mountain Top University, Ogun State, Ritman University, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State and Summit University, Offa, Kwara State.
Speaking on the exorbitant tuition fees of private universities, the Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau, said it is not the responsibility of the federal government to regulate fees charged since private universities are run like other private organisations.
He said the Federal Government would only ensure that the standard of education in private schools are of minimum standards.
“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 a kind of minimum (fee) because there is a university that charged 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. 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,” said Mr. Shekarau.