By Martin Paul
National Universities Commission (NUC), yesterday in Abuja, presented a letter of recognition to the Gombe state Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo to establish Gombe State University of Science and Technology.
Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakr Rasheed, who presented the letter, said Gombe State University of Science and Technology has brought the number of Nigeria’s federal, state and private universities to 154.
Rasheed, who pledged the support of the commission to ensure successful operation of the new university said: “With effect from today, October 26, 2017, Gombe State University of Science and Technology is recognised as the 154 university in the country”.
Earlier, Rasheed had expressed concern over establishment of more universities in the country, reiterating that the existing ones could admit reasonable number of students churned out from Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
“We are worried about more universities without corresponding admission of candidates. We are concerned about the dire need of universities which are 153 of 40 federal, with at least one in each state with University of Abuja, National Open University of Nigeria and specialised universities such as the Nigeria Defence Academy and the Police University.
“The total of these universities have only half a million students, that means every year, taking from the 1.7 million who sat for UTME this year, we have over one million not admitted”, he added.
Rasheed as much as the commission would welcome new universities, it would not compromise standards, stating that the NUC would be happier if more specialised universities could be established.
However, Dankwambo, while submitting the university’s academic briefs, master plan and law of the university to the NUC scribe, said the need for additional state university rose in view of standardisation of education in the state.
He said coupled with insurgency in the North-east, young people desirous of university education from the neighbouring states have decided to make Gombe their abode, seeking knowledge.
“We have successfully re-oriented our youths on the need for education and we have rehabilitated our primary and secondary schools and we are transforming the agricultural sector, these and more are reasons youths are embracing education.
“The University of Science and Technology will complement the existing state and federal universities. Already we have acquired about 150 hectares of land, we have put structures and infrastructures to ensure effective take-off”, he added.