The National Universities Commission (NUC) has approved another three new universities for Imo State government barely three weeks after it approved University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences for the state.
The newly approved institutions which bring to six the number of state universities in Imo State are University of Creative Technology, Omuma, University of Medical Sciences, Ogboko and University of Science and Technology, Onuimo.
Speaking at a meeting to convey the approval to Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State on Tuesday in Abuja, Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, said the institutions have met all the requirements necessary for their recognition.
“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,” the NUC boss said.
Prof. Rasheed said the Commission would work out new curriculum for the new universities as most programmes the institutions will run are innovative and would require massive input of NUC.
He, however, said that the certificate of approval of the new universities would be dispatched to the governor before the end of the day or before the week runs out.
Speaking, Governor Okorocha said the universities were established through the instrumentality of the State House of Assembly, adding that the main aim of putting in place the new institutions was to bring development to rural areas and increase access to university education.
He explained that in the past seven years the state has the highest number of students seeking university admission in the country, saying, “it is only 20 per cent of them that are admitted. This will give admission to the 80 per cent who are denied admission and are roaming the streets.”
On the funding of the new universities, Okorocha said adequate arrangements have been put in place to ensure issue of financial challenges are not associated with the running of the institutions.
“If education remains a priority, there is enough fund to run university. We are also involving the private sector because the universities are open to public and private partnership. The project started long time ago,” he said.