Namadi Sambo, former Nigerian Vice President, at the weekend, urged stakeholders in the education sector to take advantage of the enabling environment being created by the government to invest in private universities.
His call came amidst 303 proprietors of private universities currently jostling to get a provisional license from the National Universities Commission (NUC), the sole regulatory authority to begin operations.
Sambo said based on the increasing population of the country; it would take more universities to adequately bridge the gap in tertiary education.
He gave the advice when he was inaugurated as Chairman, Governing Board of Baze University, a private institution in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
According to him, only myopic people go abroad in search of tertiary education when the enabling environment is being created back home.
“The population of this country is huge and it is encouraging to see that there are constantly new universities being established.
“So I believe that objective to have a proper number of universities that will support the number of students we have in this country,” he stated.
He also noted that investment in tertiary education goes beyond financial and human capital, saying the enabling environment was equally important.
Senator Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, founder of the university, at the inauguration ceremony, said that the appointment of the board is a major milestone that will boost education, not only for Baze University but the country.
He said members of the board were selected across all the geopolitical zones in the country to nationalise and internationalise the trusteeship.
“I am pleased to announce that in a system where we have over 90 per cent of private universities having over 90 per cent of their trustees from two states within one region, Baze University has the vision to nationalise and internationalise our trusteeship.
“To the best that I can do, we have trustee members from every geopolitical zone even though we are not mandated by law,” Baba-Ahmed stated.
Other appointees of Baze’s University Governing include Yayale Ahmed, former secretary to the federal government; Ambassador Joy Ogwu, former Nigerian Permanent Representative to the United Nations; Dr Charles Aderemi Akintoye, a public administrator and Sam Nda-Isiah, publisher Leadership Newspapers.