By Etse Kassim, Abuja
Only four out of every 100 candidates that seek to study Medicine in Nigerian universities are offered admission every year due to limited space.
Peter Odili, , a former Governor of Rivers State disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday during the presentation of operating licence to six newly approved private universities in the country.
Odili, who is behind the establishment of one the new varsities, PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt, Rivers State said government and other stakeholders must act fast in ensuring more medical-oriented universities are established to cater for the growing need.
His words : “For us who are venturing into mono discipline university like medicine, our motivation and the urge is very, very critical.
“It may interest us to know that only four percent of qualified applicants are able to gain admission to medical schools. That means if a hundred students are qualified to be admitted only four candidates are admitted, therefore we need to encourage ourselves in contributing to closing the gap.”
Also speaking at the event, Abdulsalami Abubakar, former military Head of State, called for the establishment of more private universities in the country.
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Abubakar, who is the chairman of the board of trustees of PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt, said the present 160 universities are not enough to meet the nation’s educational demand.
“There are 74 private universities that have been licensed making the total number of universities in the country to 160, this is far far too small.
“I will encourage all those who can afford to establish private universities to please do that because government alone cannot do it.
“I will like to see more of this licensing of private universities. There is no nation that can survive without education. We should do more not only to establish schools and universities, but to ensure quality education is being imparted,” he said.
On his part, Rasheed Abubakar, Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), challenged universities in the country to come up with strategies that will boost their carrying capacity.
He further challenged owners of the new universities to live up to expectations by ensuring quality education in the institutions, adding that the Commission would not fail to sanction any of them that compromises on lay down minimum standard.
Malam Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education who was represented at the event by Sonny Echono, Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education, also harped on the need to ensure academic and professional standards in the institutions.
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The newly licensed private universities, which are all located in the southern part of the country, include Admiralty University, Ibusa, Delta State; Spiritan University, Nneochi, Abia State and Precious Cornerstone University, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Others are Pamo University of Medical Science, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State; Atiba University, Oyo, Oyo State; and Eko University of Medicine and Health Science, Ijanikin, Lagos State.