Abeokuta – Vice President Namadi Sambo has said that the Federal Government will continue to support establishment of private universities to cater for the growing number of applicants seeking admissions
.Sambo spoke on Saturday through Mr Nyesom Wike, the Minister of State for Education at the third convocation ceremony of the Crescent University, Abeokuta.
The vice president noted that the support had become necessary because applicants could not be absorbed in all the existing universities.
“Much as the government is willing to provide the tertiary educational needs of the citizenry, as evidenced in the recent establishment of nine new federal universities, we cannot possibly do it alone,’’ he stated.
Sambo noted with delight, that most of the existing private universities in the country were being promoted by religious organisations.
The vice president who described the development as positive, said that it would boost the morals of products of the universities.
Sambo who emphasised the importance of education to the achievement of Federal Government’s transformation agenda, assured that government would continue to create the conducive atmosphere for the education sector to thrive.
The Minister of Education, Prof. Ruquayatu Rufai, in her address said that private universities were necessary as federal universities could absorb only 350,000 out of the 1.5 million eligible applicants every year.
The minister who spoke through Mr Julius Okojie, the Secretary of the Nigerian Universities Commission, lauded the contributions of private universities in the development of the education sector.
He noted that out of the 117 universities in the country, 45 were privately owned while federal and State Governments controlled the rest.
Prof. Hassan Okeleye, Vice-Chancellor of the university told the graduands that they would face challenges, but noted that they were now equipped to face the challenges.
He charged them to be worthy ambassadors of the school and to make positive changes wherever they might be employed.
Seven eminent Nigerians, including Sambo and former President Shehu Shagari were awarded honorary doctorate degrees of the institution in various disciplines.
A total of 118 students graduated, seven of whom made first class, 37 bagged second class upper, 46 made lower second while 28 made third class. (NAN)