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By NBF News
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Education minister Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa'i on Monday announced the six states to get new federal universities as Nasarawa, Taraba, Jigawa, Ebonyi, Bayelsa and Ekiti and said the choice was guided by the principle of equity.

Prof Rufa'i said consideration was given to states without federal universities and the least concentration of other federal tertiary institutions like Polytechnics and Colleges of Education (COEs).

In the North Central zone Kogi and Nasarawa were the two contenders but the former lost out because it has two federal institutions- Federal College of Education Okene and Federal Polytechnic Idah as against Nasarawa with only one federal polytechnic.

Gombe, Taraba and Yobe in the North East zone do not have federal universities but Taraba was given the slot because its only federal institution which is the Federal Polytechnic Bali is yet to fully take off.

Although there were four states without a federal university in the North West zone, the minister said a new university would be established in Jigawa because two of the contenders- Kebbi and Katsina have state universities while Zamfara has two federal institutions.

In the South-east and South-south zones Ebonyi and Bayelsa are the only states without federal universities.

Prof. Ruqayyatu said the new universities would be programme-focused and seek to address the peculiar challenges of the zones in which they are located.

Already, federal government has approved N1.5 billion for each university for refurbishment of facilities so academic session can start next September.