Prof. Charles Ayo, the Vice-Chancellor, Trinity University, Yaba, has commended the Federal Government for approving 20 new private universities in the country.
Ayo, who was a former Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Ota, made the commendation on Thursday in Ota, Ogun.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday in Abuja approved 20 new private universities to be sited in different parts of the country.
He said that the approval of more universities was a development that would improve access and quality education to students.
He applauded FEC’s decision, saying the approval could have been borne out of the need to create better access to private universities.
“It is unfortunate that the total enrollment in the nation’s university system even with the increased number of private universities can only admit about five per cent of the enrollment annually,’’ he said.
The don said that there were many Nigerians parents who were interested in the private universities due to their unbroken calendar, discipline and quality of education provided by the institutions.
According to him, the public universities have been shut down for more than six months, adding that some of these institutions have announced the cancellation for the session.
“The quality of education offered by the nation’s private universities has become obvious and can no longer be disputed,’’ Ayo said.
He listed some of the universities to include Covenant University, Bells University, Ota, Redeemed University, Trinity University, Yaba and Bowen Universities, among others.
Ayo appealed to the Federal Government to provide some financial support that would help the private universities to grow because they would also contribute to human capital development of the nation.
He stressed the need to do more than approving those universities by considering granting some financial support as setting up a university requires huge funding.
He said that there would not have been the need to canvass for financial assistance from the government if basic infrastructure such like internet facilities, stable power supply, and potable water, among others were made available to them.
“The government should also find out why subscription to these universities is a reflection of the economic situations in the country.’’
The don suggested that the government should work out modalities on how the cost of education in private universities could be reduced.
He said that the government should look beyond just approval but to ensure that the private universities could also benefit from Tertiary Education Trust Fund to cushion the unbearable cost accrued by the owners of the institutions.