The National Assembly is currently considering various bills which are at different stages of legislative activities for the establishment of 235 new federal universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and specialised institutions despite poor funding of the existing federal tertiary institutions.
According to Daily Trust, the consideration comes at a time when various labour unions in the tertiary institutions and the Nigerian government have been haggling over salaries and other school running costs, hence frequent strikes by the staff members of the institutions.
In 2020, an industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over a payroll system and condition of the universities lasted nine months.
Not long after ASUU ended its strike, another union, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of non-teaching staff unions of universities, which comprises Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), declared a nationwide industrial action over salaries.
Out of the 111 bills in the senate, 40 are for the establishment of universities; eight for polytechnics; while 35 and 28 are for colleges of education and specialised institutes respectively.
A further breakdown of the 40 proposed universities indicate that all but one are specialised institutions. Of the specialised universities, technology tops the list with 10, closely followed by agriculture with eight. Education has six, medical and health sciences have four and maritime two.
There are also bills seeking the establishment of one university each for sports, environment, history and archaeology, entrepreneurship, food technology, steel, creative arts, film and broadcasting, as well as aerospace and aeronautics.
The Senate is also considering bills to establish 21 colleges of education; five colleges of agriculture and four colleges of forestry. Health science/midwifery has three bills and one each for crop science, maritime studies and naval architecture.
For the proposed institutes, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tops the list with seven; followed by fisheries and aquaculture, and mines and geological studies, which have two each.
Other specialised institutes being proposed are those of business, administration, stockbrokers, facility management, mediation, security, border studies, building and road research, metallurgy, cancer research, development, directors, power engineers, environment, bitumen and local government and public administration; one each.
State-by-state distribution of the tertiary institutions shows that four federal universities are proposed to be sited in Anambra and three each for Kogi, Niger and Ondo.
States to get two federal universities are Adamawa, Ebonyi, Edo, Kaduna, Kano, Ogun, Oyo and Plateau.
One federal university each is proposed for Akwa Ibom, Benue, Delta, Ekiti, Imo, Katsina, Kwara, Lagos, Rivers, Taraba and FCT.
For federal colleges, Osun, Kwara, Kaduna, Borno and Adamawa top the list with three each. States to get two are Cross River, Ebonyi, Edo, Ondo, Kebbi and Gombe.
Taraba, Sokoto, Rivers, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Ekiti, Bayelsa and Bauchi are to get one federal college each.
Two federal polytechnics are proposed for Sokoto, while one each for Abia, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Enugu and Kano.
There is no new university, polytechnic and college proposed for Yobe and Zamfara. Both states have one federal university each.