Stakeholders in the educational sector have disagreed on the need to establish more tertiary institutions in the country .
While the National Universities Commission called for more schools to accommodate the rising number of applicants , academic workers said more attention should be paid to the existing ones .
The House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services / TETFUND had , on Thursday , organised a public hearing on a bill seeking to establish the Federal University of Technology Asaba , Delta State , and another on the Federal College of Education Keana , Nasarawa State.
At the hearing were the NUC , Academic Staff Union of Universities , Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities , and the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union , among others .
The Minority Leader of the House , Ndudi Elumelu, from Delta State , sponsored the bill to propose the university in the state .
The stakeholders were , however , divided on the establishment of new tertiary institutions .
The NUC noted that the 172 universities in Nigeria can only admit not more than 500 , 000 admission-seekers, while the applicants were sometimes in excess of a million .
The Director of Public Affairs, NUC , Ibrahim Yakasai, said , “ We are excited and we support this . In fact , every state of the federation has a federal university – at least one ; a few of them has two – and if this one comes on board , Delta will be having two specialised universities .”
ASUU, however, noted that Delta already had three federal universities – the Federal University of Petroleum Resources , Admiralty University of Nigeria and the Nigerian Maritime University .
The President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi , whose speech was read by the Abuja Zonal Coordinator , Prof . Theophilus Lagi, said , “ We call on the honourable House of Representatives to support the cause of revamping and revitalising existing universities in Nigeria rather than creating new ones that will , in no time , suffer the fate of the older ones .
“ The case of the 12 new universities , including the Federal University of Petroleum Resources ( Effurun, Delta State ) , created by fiat under the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration clearly attests to this point .”
According to him , establishing another federal university in the state would trigger agitation for equity by other states, which can also add to the challenges currently facing the Nigerian university system .
The SSANU , on its part , listed issues with having more tertiary institutions .
The National Financial Secretary of the union , Mohammed Aliyu , who represented the National President , Mr Samson Ugwoke, declined to categorically state if the body was for or against the proposed university .
President , COEASU , Nuhu Ogirima , welcomed the establishment of new institutions for the sake of access to education across the country . He said with the recent establishment of six new Federal Colleges of Education across the country , and with the mandate to produce trained teachers for the basic education sub – sector – primary and junior secondary school levels – the number of education colleges will rise to 27 .