30 July 2016
The National Universities Commission (NUC), has approved the establishment of the University of Africa for Bayelsa, the 43rd state university in the country.
This is contained in a statement issued on Saturday in Yenagoa by Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson, Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson.
According to the statement, NUC handed over the letter of approval to Gov. Dickson when he visited the commission in Abuja.
It quoted Dickson as expressing gratitude to the NUC’s Executive Secretary for the warm reception accorded him and his team.
“The approval of the university followed the formal presentation of relevant gazette law, academic brief, physical master-plan as well as the satisfactory report of the advisory resource assessment visit by the commission,’’ it stated.
Dickson explained that the University of Africa, to be sited in Toru-Orua, Bayelsa State, was conceived as a public private partnership venture and designed as a first rate institution of learning to attract some of the best teachers from Africa and the world.
He said the university would be funded by private partners while the government would only provide the enabling environment for its establishment.
“I am here leading this small delegation to present to you these laws passed by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, establishing a new university working with the private sector.
“It will be run on a Public Private Partnership (PPP), basis. Unlike the existing one, it will not be directly funded by the state.
“Our belief is that for a university to be sustainable, we must create room for private sector participation and involvement.
“The University of Africa, Toru-Orua, is the first of its kind in this country to be established by government with private sector involvement.
“It will be strictly a fee-paying institution that will attract students from across the continent and the globe.
“It will be a model as we encourage more private universities in this country’’, Dickson said.
The statement quoted Prof Julius Okojie, NUC’s Executive Secretary, as congratulating the state.
Okojie said the establishment of the university took effect from July 28, having complied with the basic requirements.
According to Okojie, the University of Africa is 143rd in the Nigerian university system.
A university of the same name is already in existence in Lusaka, Zambia, however.