The Federal Government on Tuesday approved 37 new private universities.
The approval was announced at an extraordinary Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa.
FEC entertained about 40 memoranda from various ministries, departments and agencies, including the approval for the establishment of 37 private universities.
According to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, one of the institutions approved is an online university.
He said the newly approved universities have surged the number of private universities in the country to 72.
Although he did not disclose the names of the universities, he revealed that the online university would be the first of its kind in the country, and owned by a woman from Bauchi State.
The expectation is that it will cater for the likes of northern Muslim women who feel reluctant or are restrained from attending physical campus education.
Asked by journalists if the additional universities are really expedient given the funding challenges of existing ones, Adamu explained that these ones are all private, with enough funds to run them and they should not be denied the opportunity to exist.
Besides, he said Nigeria actually needs more universities as the available ones are not adequate to take up all those aspiring for higher education.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, reaffirmed the seriousness of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to ensure that the proposed national airliner, Nigeria Air, works before the 29th of this month when it will be leaving office.
“Yes, we are on course, we’re on course, and by the grace of God before President Buhari leaves office, it will fly. We are on course, we are on course and before May 29, it will fly”, Sirika said.