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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the establishment of nine new private universities in the country.
The approval brings the number of private universities in the country to 59.
The Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, listed nine new 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, Prose, Delta State; Mountain Top University, Ogun State, Ritman University, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State and Summit University, Offa, Kwara State.
When asked if the federal government will step in to curtail the exorbitant fees being charged in the private universities, Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau said, "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 kind of minimum because there is a university that is charging 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: private primary school, private secondary school. All that is the responsibility of government is to ensure that the standards are maintained.