The National Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the take-off of the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences in Imo State, as the 49th state-owned university in the country.
The approval was given by Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, Executive Secretary of NUC in Abuja on Thursday, April 18, 2019.
Rasheed, while presenting the Certificate to Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo, said the university, located in Umuagwo, now became the second university to be established by the state.
He said the establishment of the new university had increased the number of Nigeria universities from 170 to 171.
He said the university which had already been enacted into law by the State House of Assembly had also met all the requirements for its recognition by the commission.
According to him, in line with our rules, we shall recognise this institution because it has fufilled all the requirements for establishing a university by a state.
“It is going to be a university fully owned by the 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.
“Out of all the six universities proposed for establishment by Imo government, the university of Agriculture and environmental sciences has all the strategic documents ready and had been presented to us.
“With effect from April 3rd, NUC recognise 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,” he said.
Responding, Okorocha said following the increasing numbers of university admission seekers from the state, there was need to build more universities to cushion the challenges of access to tertiary institution in Imo.
“We have over 600,000 students through JAMB, seeking admission into universities and based on this circumstance, the Imo government is building more universities to cushion this challenge and provide more universities for our students to attend,” Okorocha said.
The governor said the state government had made provisions for adequate Infrastructure for the take-off of the university.
He, however, noted that the state was partnering with the private sector to help sustain the institution.
He added that infrastructural facilities had been put in place which would encourage private investors to invest in the state.
Okorocha said that the Eastern Palm University, University of Creative Technology, University of Medical Sciences, Marine University and a higher institution on Theology Studies were all underway in the state.
By Funmilayo Adeyemi