The National Assembly is working to create 80 new federal universities, polytechnics and colleges of education despite poor funding for the existing tertiary institutions.
If these new institutions are created, it will bring the total number of federal educational institutions to 164.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike in the last three weeks over inadequate funding of research and infrastructure in the federal universities.
Daily Trust findings revealed that there are presently 80 bills at various legislative processes pending before the Senate and the House of Representatives for the establishment of tertiary institutions across the country.
In the 2018 budget, the 84 existing federal government tertiary institutions across the country were allocated N367 billion out of the over N600 billion approved for the education sector.
The 80 proposed federal institutions, spread across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, comprise 27 universities, 22 colleges of education, 19 polytechnics, six institutes, one police academy, one federal college of agriculture, a federal college of forestry, one para-military academy and one federal college of veterinary assistants as well as a school of mines and geological studies.
Out of the 27 proposed federal varsities, 10 are for education, eight are for agriculture, four for technology, and one each for science and tech, medicine and medical sciences, aquatic studies and health.
A total of 37, out of the 80, are from the Senate, while 36 are in the House of Representatives with seven other bills concurrently undergoing legislative processes in both chambers.
It was learned that many of such bills will still come up before the expiration of the current 8th National Assembly in June.
If established, the new institutions are expected to gulp the federal government hundreds of billions of naira annually for both salaries of staff, research, infrastructure as well as day-to-day operations.
In the past few years, academic staff unions of other federal polytechnics, colleges of education, among others had embarked on strikes to press home their financial demands.
correspondents report that all the bills that came up for public hearing had received massive support from all the stakeholders, indicating acceptance for the establishment of the institutions. Only a few of the bills are yet to come up for the public hearing.