The Federal Executive Council has approved a memo from the Ministry of Education for the establishment of 20 new private universities across the country.
The 20 new private universities are to be given provisional licenses to run for three years while the ministry monitors and evaluates their growth.
A breakdown of the new private universities on geopolitical zone basis shows that nine of them are located in North Central; three in South South; two in South East; five in North West and one in South West.
The new universities are 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.
Others are 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.
They also include 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.
This brings the total number of private universities in the country to 99.
Also during the meeting, members observed a minute of silence for two late cabinet members who died recently.
The minute of silence was observed just before the commencement of the weekly meeting which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chambers of the State House.
The former members are Alfa Wali and Tony Momoh.
Wali, a prominent Kano State indigene and former Minister of Agriculture, died on Monday, January 25th, 2021.
He also served as Permanent Secretary in many ministries, including the Ministry of Defence.
The late Momoh was a veteran journalist and politician who was Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida, who died on February 1, 2020, at the age of 82.
The Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen. Babagana Mongunu, as well as seven ministers physically, attended the meeting.
The ministers included Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, and Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.