By Alfred Agudiebube
Barely three weeks after the approval of the takeoff of University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo, Imo State, as the 49th state University, the National Universities Commission (NUC), has approved yet another three new universities for the state government.
The universities: University of Creative Technology, Omuma, University of Medical Sciences, Ogboko and University of Science and Technology, Onuimo.
NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, who conveyed the approval of the institutions to Governor Rochas Okorocha yesterday in Abuja, said the institutions had met all the requirements necessary for their recognition.
He noted that the Commission would work out new curriculum for the new universities, as most programmes the institutions would run were innovative and required massive input of the NUC.
The letter of recognition was issued to the Imo governor following the formal presentation of the master plan, academic brief, university laws and the Act of Parliaments that approved the establishment of the new universities to the NUC.
With the list of approved State Universities in NUC Website standing at 48, the letter signed by the Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, said the universities had been recognised as the 50th, 51st and 52nd state universities. Not forgetting that the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo is the 49th.
Consequently, the letter added that the three new State Universities are now the 172nd, 173rd and 174th universities respectively in the Nigerian university system with effect from May 7.
The NUC boss also enjoined the governor and the state government to take advantage of the professional and technical advice from the commission to establish the universities.
“All the requirements have been met, the documents have been presented and the laws setting up the universities passed by the State House of Assembly have also been presented.
“We hereby formally recognise the establishment of these universities.
“What is left before the takeoff of the universities is the due diligence of NUC.
“No university can start a programme without a visit by NUC. We will quickly develop curriculum because most of their courses are new,” he said
Okorocha, while receiving the letter of recognition, commended the NUC for the warm reception accorded his delegation and for standing out as a regulatory institution.
He said the establishment of the universities was part of plans to revolutionise the education sector in the state.
Okorocha, who said his administration decided to establish another state university because of the need to expand access to tertiary education, gave the assurance that the three universities would be well-funded and equipped with state of the art facilities to enable them produce globally-competitive graduates.
Besides, he said the state government was partnering with the private sector to help sustain the institutions.
It will also be recalled that three years ago, the Eastern Palm University, Ogboko was established as the 42 state University in Nigeria.
By calculation, Imo now has six full state Universities which includes: Imo State University, Owerri, Eastern Palm University, Ogboko, University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo, University of Creative Technology, Omuma, University of Medical Sciences, Ogboko and University of Science and Technology, Onuimo.
FROM THE TOWER OF TRUTH