ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – The Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, has approved the issuance of provisional licence for the establishment of two new private universities in the country.
They are the Edwin Clarke University, situated in Kiagbodo, Delta State and the Hezekiah University in Umudi, Imo State.
Once the operating licences are issued, they will bring the number of private universities in the country to 62.
The Minister of Information, Patricia Akwashiki, who alongside the Minister of National Planning, Abubakar Sulieman, briefed State House correspondents, said, the approval was given after the National Universities commission (NUC) explained to Council why these two universities deserved approvals.
According to Akwashiki, the universities would address the inadequate access to university education and enrolment of students in the country.
She said, the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, told Council that in a country of over 160 million people, the present universities were not enough to absorb the teaming youths seeking admission, hence the need to approve additional universities.
According to her, “The establishment of Edwin Clark University will address the inadequate access to university education and enrolment of students in excess of the carrying capacity of the universities. In addition, the establishment of the university will also address the development challenges of the Niger Delta in particular and also the wider global community as a whole”.
Council had earlier in February approved the issuance of operating licences to nine new private universities in Nigeria.
The private universities earlier approved were; 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.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has strongly condemned the Indonesian government for carrying out the execution of four Nigerians.
Indonesian authorities had on Tuesday executed eight people, including four Nigerians, convicted for drug offences. The execution of a ninth convict, a woman from the Philippines, was postponed at the last minute.
The death row prisoners, whose pending execution had drawn condemnation as well as pleas for clemency from around the world were killed by firing squad.
The four Nigerians executed include Martins Anderson, 50, who was charged with possession of heroin, and Okwudili Oyatanze, 41, also charged for smuggling heroin.
Jamiu Abashin, 50, was also executed for smuggling heroin, while Sylvester Nwolise, 42, was also executed for the same offence.
Akwashiki said “the Foreign Affairs ministry has been on it before the execution. It is unfortunate that any of our citizens will have to be killed like that. We do not agree with what Indonesia did like any other person. And we also seize this opportunity to advise Nigerians travelling abroad that these countries made it clear when they issue visas, is there in red “penalty for drug trafficking is death”. Please let us beware, it’s for us to respect because that is their law, they will not bulge, they will not shift. In as much as we also condemn we also advise and we plead with Nigerians outside to desist from carrying drugs, the ultimate end is firing squad.”