The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the establishment of three additional federal universities in the country.
The approval was given at the council’s first meeting of the year presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting alongside his counterparts- Mr. Edem Duke (Tourism and Culture); Prof. Ruqqayatu Rufai (Education); and Dr. Yerima Ngama (State, Finance).
The three newly-approved universities, according to Rufai, are the Federal University of Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State; Federal University of Gusau, Zamfara State, and Federal University of Gashua, Yobe State.
The minister said the new universities would take off during the 2014/2015 academic session.
She said, “We have been battling with the problem of access to education every year, cutting across primary, secondary and tertiary. We record between 1.3million and 1.5million applicants through JAMB every year.”
Rufai said having approved the establishment of three additional universities, every state in the country now has federal university.
Meanwhile, the President on Wednesday handed down a marching order to the ministers to buckle up in order to make more dividends of democracy available to Nigerians in the New Year.
Maku said, “President Jonathan told us that we must all buckle up, work as a team and individually to make our MDAs achieve their key goals in terms of service delivery and meeting targets.
“In railway sector, last year was very good for the country and this year will be better and will lead to greater activities in the economy. Power sector also recorded appreciable growth last year. This year, power will stabilise more than that of last year by the time we commission the projects currently under construction.”
Maku expressed the confidence that by the time the 2013 budget is finally signed into law, government would perform better.
Ngama said based on the growth being experienced in the country’s economy, the World Bank had offered Nigeria additional shares as part of its new policy to give more voice to developing countries.
He said, “Nigeria’s economy is very strong. Our GDP has grown very significantly; we are growing faster and overtaking some countries.”