Five private Universities licenses issued by the National Universities Commission (NUC) would be revoked.
The NUC has resolved to put an end to the validity of the five private universities in the country for fallen short of the operational guidelines and procedures.
Our corespondent gathered that NUC has placed some of the affected universities under investigation before it takes final decision on suspending their operating licences.
A reliable source at the NUC who preferred anonymity, revealed that one of the first victims of the regulatory agency’s action may be the Obong University, which is situated at Obong Ntak in Cross River State.
According to the source, other universities that may be affected by the exercise include Fountain University in Osogbo; Wellspring University, Evbuobanosa, Edo State; Samuel Adegboyega University, Ogwa, Edo State, and McPherson University, Seriki Sotoyo, Ajebo, Ogun State, among others.
A list of approved universities in Nigeria as recently released by the commission reveals that there are a total of 129 universities in Nigeria, 40 federal, 39 states and 50 private ones.
While the NUC authorities had repeatedly hinged the creation of additional private universities on the need to boost access to tertiary education in the country, most of these universities may be axed for low students population and bogus programmes or disciplines they offer which the NUC has found to be non-indigenous to the Nigerian environment.
NUC’s Department of Quality Assurance, which recently carried out a forensic audit on some of the affected universities, including Obong University, informed that some of them were operating without internet bandwidth, some lacked visibility (no sign-posts), insufficient safety measures, lack of currency in their library holdings, as well as imbalance in staff mix.
Obong University was also alleged to have contravened the commission’s directive by continuing to admit students into its Computer Science Department, which had previously been denied accreditation in the programme.
It was also gathered that following the audit on the university, the Governing Council of the university visited the NUC Executive Secretary, Professor Julius Okojie, who in turn, criticized the institution for recruiting some unqualified personnel, including a fake Professor.
Okojie had also decried the poor governance structure of the university, which he said was attributable to the slow pace of development at the university.
Another factor, which may fuel plans to revoke their licences, according to our source, is that NUC is not pleased with the exorbitant fees charged by some of these proprietors, yet they fail to provide adequate funds to sustain infrastructural development.