By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
The Federal Government has approved the establishment of 20 additional private universities in the country.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on Wednesday while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the weekly Federal Exercise Council (FEC)
According to the Minister, the council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja, reached the decision based on a memo presented before it by his ministry.
Nine of the private universities are located in North Central, three in South South, two in South East, five of them in North West and one in South West.
The minister said the approved universities will get their provisional licenses from the National Universities Commission (NUC), and would be watched for the next three years to see how they would progress.
Adamu named the approved institutions as Topfaith University, Mkpatak, Akwa Ibom State; Thomas Adewumi University, Oko-Irese, Kwara State; Maranathan University, Mgbidi, Imo State; Ave Maria University, Piyanko, Nasarawa State, and Al-Istiqama University, Sumaila, Kano State.
The list also included Mudiame University, Irrua, Edo State; Havilla University, Nde-Ikom, Cross River State; Claretian University of Nigeria, Nekede, Imo State; NOK University, Kachia, Kaduna State and Karl-Kumm University, Vom, Plateau State.
Also approved are 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 State, and University of Offa, Offa, Kwara State.
Others are Mewar University, Masaka, Nasarawa State, Edusoko University, Bida, Niger State; Philomath University, Kuje, Abuja; Khadija University, Majia, Jigawa State and Anan University, Kwall, Plateau State.
FEC also approved the sum of N35 billion for the building of power station by the Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA), in Akamkpa, Cross River State.
According to the Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, who spoke on it at the post-council briefing, the contract awarded to Messrs Mutual Commitment Nigeria Limited, is for the power station to power the Calabar Export Processing Zone.
He said the contract sum is N35,411,119,159.47, adding that the contractor will finance 75 percent of the project, which is in the sum of N26,558,339,337.10 while the NEPZA would finance 25 percent which translate to N8,852,779,792.37.
He said council approved a payback period of 10 years of the contractor’s portion.
Adebayo informed that on completion after 11 months, the plant will be operated by the contractor for five years during which they will build local capacity that will take over the running of the plant.
He said: “The whole intention of the upgrade of the two zones is to create zones with world class standards. The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is desirous of making Nigeria a manufacturing hub, especially now that we have signed on to the Africa Continental free Trade Area (AFCTA) Agreement.
“So, by putting 24-hour power in the two processing zones, it will make it more attractive to foreign investors to come and set up manufacturing concerns here in Nigeria.”
On his part, Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, said council approved for the categorization of Aluminum Smelting Company of Nigeria that is in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, as a power producing and strategic company.
With the approval, Adegbite said the production of aluminum will start in Nigeria.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who spoke on behalf of the ministers of Transportation and Aviation, said council also approved the sum of N783,521,275 inclusive of 7.5 percent VAT for the award of contract for the procurement of two hydrographic survey boats for the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) by Ministry of Transportation, in Favour of Messers First Index Project and Services Limited.
Mohammed said council approved the contract for the design, supply and installation of PTZ long range tarmac camera surveillance system at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and also for a mobile surveillance system with remote controlled licensed for sober installed in the back of a Mercedes Benz Splinter Van 524 in favour of Messers Bruce Lee Pro Project, which is exclusive Nigeria and Africa representatives of the original equipment manufacturers Messers Datcom Systems Integrated Limited Posers of Slovenia.
While noting that the total sum of the contract is N1,278,594,250, he said this is in order to upgrade and provide security and safety for the Nigeria Airport Authority, especially to avoid incidence on the air site and runway.