The Federal Executive Council has approved a memo from the Ministry of Education for the establishment of 20 new private universities across the country.
The 20 new private universities are to be given provisional licenses to run for three years while the ministry monitors and evaluates their growth.
This brings the total number of private universities in the country to 99.
Also during the meeting, members observed a minute of silence for two late cabinet members who died recently.
The minute of silence was observed just before the commencement of the weekly meeting which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari Council Chambers of the State House.
The former members are Alfa Wali and Tony Momoh.
Wali, a prominent Kano State indigene and former Minister of Agriculture, died on Monday, January 25th, 2021.
He also served as Permanent Secretary in many ministries, including the Ministry of Defence.
The late Momoh was a veteran journalist and politician who was Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida, who died on February 1, 2020, at the age of 82.
The Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen. Babagana Mongunu, as well as seven ministers physically, attended the meeting.
The ministers included Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, and Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
The newly approved universities are:
Topfaith University, Mkpatak, Akwa Ibom, Thomas Adewumi University, Oko-Irese, Kwara, Maranathan University, Mgbidi, Imo, Ave Maria University, Piyanko, Nasarawa State and Al-Istiqama University, Sumaila, Kano State.
Others are: Mudiame University, Irrua, Edo, Havilla University, Nde-Ikom, Cross River, Claretian University of Nigeria, Nekede, Imo , NOK University, Kachia, Kaduna State and Karl-Kumm University, Vom, Plateau.
James Hope University, Lagos, Lagos State, Maryam Abacha American University of Nigeria, Kano, Kano State, Capital City University, Kano, Kano State, Ahman Pategi University, Pategi, Kwara and University of Offa, Offa, Kwara, also got provisional approval
Others are: Mewar University, Masaka, Nasarawa State, Edusoko University, Bida, Niger, Philomath University, Kuje, Abuja, Khadija University, Majia, Jigawa and Anan University, Kwall, Plateau.
Nine of the private universities are located in North Central, three in South South, two in South East, five in the North West and one in South West.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that with the approval of additional 20 universities, Nigeria now has 99 private universities .