The landscape of education in Nigeria is never changing; and this change, which is reflected in the establishment of more and more institutions of learning, is driven by demand and the demand for education is driven by a number of factors. These include: the growing population of Nigeria with a large percentage being children and young adults of schooling age; the shortage of adequate spaces for the teeming population of applicants annually, dubbed the lack of access; and the increasing importance of education as a definer of social and economic status of people. The demands at the tertiary level, especially university education, is more acute as more and more graduating students from all secondary schools and old graduates who have not secured admission annually compete for the limited space available in Nigerian universities.

The crises of access influenced the decision of the Federal Government to establish nine new universities to be funded by it. The issue of equity, in terms of the distribution of federal resources, also influenced the decision of the Federal Government to increase the number of its universities. This is buttressed by the need to give equal opportunity to all Nigerians, irrespective of their State of origin, the opportunity to acquire qualitative university education within a reasonable distance from their locale.

However, the overarching rationale for the establishment of new universities lies not with expanding access, but with the understanding and appreciation of the Federal Government of the roles universities play in the growth and development of human societies. Looking into the 21st century with hope and aspiring to become one of the leading global economies at the dawn of the century, Nigeria and its Government took the initiative to establish new universities for the rapid socio-economic transformation of the country. It is the aspiration and expectation of the Federal Government that these universities shall become centres of excellence and wheels for driving the transformational agenda of government.


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