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Nigeria gets five new universities and more electricity

Channels Television  
Updated February 22, 2012

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved provisional licenses for the establishment of five new private universities in Nigeria.

This was disclosed on Wednesday by the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku after the weekly FEC meeting which was chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo.

This brings the total number of universities (government owned and private) in the country to 122 and this number, the government claim is still not enough to address the challenge currently facing the nation’s tertiary education.

The newly approved universities are Elizade University Ondo state, Evangel University Akaeze, Ebonyi state, Gregory University Uturu, Abia state, McPherson University, Ogun state and the Southwestern University Okun Owa, Ogun state.

Addressing Journalist after the FEC meeting, Mr Maku affirmed the educational challenge in Nigeria and stated that the federal government does not have the capacity to fund the sector. “The federal government believes that Nigeria is in need of higher education and the federal government does not have the capacity to fund higher education alone” he said, adding that “one of the best ways to promote quality higher education is to encourage private universities to spring up.”

MORE SUBSIDY BUSES

The council also approved the loan of N15 billion for the purchase of additional 1, 240 buses for distribution to competent transport companies in the country as part of the subsidy reinvestment programme.

The Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Samuel Ortom said that the loan at zero per cent interest is repayable in five years.

This will brings the total number of buses the government will distribute for mass transportation to 2, 840. In January, the Government set aside N10 billion revolving loan for the transportation sector. This was in addition to the deployment of 1,600 mass transit buses in the same month.

These measures, according to government were meant to ease the pains of the sudden hike in prices of petroleum products as a result of the ‘partial’ removal of subsidy in Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise called petrol.

MORE POWER FROM SAPELE

As the nation gears for another promise of attaining increased power generation in the country by the end of the year, the council announced that the Sapele power plant in Delta state has become operational with an additional 225megawatts of power generated into the national grid.

The Sapele power plant is one of the ten new power plants currently being built in the country. Though small, it is believed that the additional 225 megawatts that will be added to the national grid will go a long way to improve the power situation in the country

The Minister of Information noted that the federal government “will no longer beat its chest as far as issues of improvement in electricity supply are concerned” referring to the series of failed promises of achieving set targets of power generation.

He declared that government will no longer boast about its projects in the power sector “at least until they are very sure of what they are doing” he said.