The National Universities Commission has granted provisional approval for the establishment of a new state-owned university of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences in Imo state.
This approval takes the number of state -owned universities to 49 and 171 universities in the country.
NUC’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, presented the certificate establishing the university to the state governor, Rochas Okorocha, in Abuja.
Rasheed said the approval makes this the second state-owned university in Imo.
He said the state met all the requirements of the commission for the establishment of a university, hence the presentation of certificate to the governor.
The executive secretary said: “In line with our rules we, shall recognize this institution because it has fulfilled all the requirements for establishing a university by a state. It is going to be a university fully owned by Imo State government.
“The Imo State House of Assembly has enacted a law in respect of the university; the governor of the state has also assented to the law.
“Of all the six universities proposed to establish by Imo State government, the university of Agriculture and environmental sciences has all its strategic documents ready and it’s presented to us, with effect from April 3rd.
“NUC recognized the existence of the University of Agriculture and Environmental Studies as the second State owned University and the 49th university established by state governments as well as 171st university in the Nigerian university system.”
Okorocha said his administration decided to establish another state university because of the need to expand access to tertiary education.
The governor, who identified Infrastructure as key challenge in setting up a university, said the state government had made provision for adequate infrastructure for the take-off of the university.
He said the state government was partnering with the private sector to help sustain the institution.
Okorocha said: “We have over 600,000 students through jamb seeking admission into universities based on this Imo government is building more universities to cushion this challenge and provide more universities for our students to attend.
“We already ensure Infrastructure is in place and then it became easy to partner with private investors. Funding is possible but most important is Infrastructure.”
He said that the university will focus on environmental sciences. “It is a specified purposed focus university it’s more of environmental sciences. The university will enable people to be a boss of themselves,” he added.