Abubakar Rasheed, executive secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), says only one percent of Nigeria’s population form the total enrollment of students in the country’s 164 universities.
Rasheed made this known in Abuja on the sidelines of the presentation of Provisional License to a new private university, Skyline University, Kano.
Skyline is the 75th private university approved by the national executive council.
Rasheed said the 75 private universities in the country accounted for 5.31 percent of the total enrollment in the universities across the country.
He described the situation as unhealthy and stressed the need for more access either by creating more universities or expanding existing ones.
“All the 75 private universities in the country account for only 5.31 percent of the total enrollment in our universities and many of them are small,” he said.
“If you look at the population of 198 million which is nearly 200 million and if you bear in mind that the total enrollment in our universities today, all the 164 universities is less than 2 million.
“That is just 1.96 million students in the universities that translates roughly to one percent of the population; one percent of the population are in the university, I think that is not healthy.
“So, we need more access; that is why we need either more universities or we need expand existing universities. We need to create more space for more Nigerians to get quality university education.”
The NUC boss said the commission could not regulate the fees of private schools.
He called on government at all levels and philanthropists to institute scholarship for indigent students, who are intelligent to enable them access quality education .
Rasheed said the NUC would continue to support investors in university education as long as they delivered quality education, which will in turn develop the country.
“The future of this country rests in the strength of the university education, so we will continue to support investors in our university education,” he said.