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Nigeria - Apply for a License to operate a University

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Federal Universities

The old regional governments in Nigeria licensed the first set of universities in the different regions of the country. These universities were eventually taken over by the federal government. Subsequently, the federal government established universities in the country based on need and the necessity to have a balanced spread across the regions and States of the Federation.

Whenever such needs are identified, the government through the National Universities Commission carries out the necessary assessments and resource verification that eventually lead to the establishment of such federal universities. The financial implication for the smooth take-off of such universities are worked out following which the government release take-off grants to the university to begin its operations.

State Universities

In the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, education is on the concurrent list. Consequently, State governments have the constitutional backing to establish their own universities. Once the State House of Assembly promulgates the Act for establishing the university and the Governor ascents to the bill, the law is passed for the establishment of the state university. Although the National Universities Commission does not have to approve the establishment of State Universities, it is responsible for ensuring that laid down standards are adhered to; thus ensuring the delivery of quality education in the universities

Private Universities

As a result of growing increase in the number of prospective candidates for admission into universities and increasing inability of existing public universities to cope with the rate of increase in demand for university placement, as well as governments (both Federal and State) inability to adequately fund the Nigerian universities, the Federal government invited private individuals into the operation of universities following wide consultation with relevant university organs. Therefore, government promulgated Act No 9 of 1993.

Act No.9 of 1993, repealed the private universities (abolition and prohibition) Act of 1984 and allowed individuals, organizations , Corporate bodies as well as local governments to establish and run private universities upon meeting laid down guidelines and subsequently obtaining approval of government. The decree stipulated the various documents that should be submitted to NUC by proprietors of proposed universities as well as other conditions that should be met to enable the Commission assess the adequacy or otherwise of the applications for governments approval. Thus, the NUC started issuing application forms to prospective proprietors of private universities, as far back as September 1993.

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Required Documents[edit]

  • Application in writing, addressed to the Executive Secretary, stating the intent to register a University with NUC,N1000,000.00 Bank Draft in favour of NUC for ten (10) copies of Application Form;
  • N5000,000.00 Bank Draft in favour of NUC for processing of the application;
  • Academic Brief;
  • Physical Masterplan;
  • Counterpart of Deed of Assignment;
  • Certificate of Incorporation/Registration of Proprietors;
  • Deed of Assignment/Certificate of Occupancy;
  • University Law;
  • Letter of Available Liquid Cash; and
  • Bank Guarantee of Funds to the tune of N200 Million from reputable banks.
  • Draft Academic Briefs,
  • Draft Masterplan
  • And the draft University Law

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

The Executive Secretary,

National Universities Commission,

c/o Secretariat of the Standing Committee on Private Universities (SCOPU)

Room 25, Ground Floor, Aja Nwachukwu House,

26, Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama District, P.M.B. 237 Garki G.P.O., Abuja.

Tel: 08027455412,08027455413,08027455418, 07054407741, 07054407742

Tel: 07054407743,07039254081,07039254082,07054327029

The Executive Secretary,

National Board for Technical Education,

Plot B, Bida Road,

P.M.B. 2239 Kaduna,

Tel: 062-211554.

The Executive Secretary,

National Commission for Colleges of Education,

6A Ahmadu Bello Way,

P.M.B. 2341 Kaduna,

Tel: 062-214165, 211370, 216437, 215904, 210482, 211498


Federal Secretariat, Phase 2 (3rd Floor)

Shehu Shagari Way, Abuja

Tel: 09-5232800


Area 3, Block A, 3rd Floor,

Garki, Abuja (Former Open University)

Tel: 09-234403 1; 2344032


Wuse, Zone 7, P.O. Box 2946,

Garki, Abuja

Tel: 09-5233 188; 5230410


University of Abuja, Area 3,

P.M.B. 195, Garki, Abuja

Tel: 09-2342932



National Secretariat, Suleja

Road, Bwari

P.M.B. 169, Garki, Abuja

For JAMB OFFICES use the following links

You can visit this link to see all Universities in Nigeria

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All citizen of Nigeria with the required qualification and who satisfy the criteria set out in the Schedule of the university Act can Apply to the government of Nigeria to be licensed to open up private or public a university respectively.


Deposit of N1000,000.00 Bank Draft in favour of NUC for ten (10) copies of Application Form;

Processing of the Application N5000,000.00 Bank Draft in favour of NUC for processing of the application;


Valid for 3 years renewal on satisfactory.

Documents to Use[edit]

Please attach documents that can be used by people. e.g. links

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Sample Documents[edit]

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.

Processing Time[edit]

  • It takes 2 years or less depending on the documentation availability

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 

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You can register a p university with the Nigeria University commission to have the legal authority to offer higher education programmes before being grated a license. Private University offer the same qualifications levels as that offered by public universities or universities . The purpose of registration is to ensure that:

  • Private Universities offer quality education
  • The public is protected against unscrupulous and exploitative operators.
  • The consumer obtains qualifications that are aligned with the Nigeria University Commission Framework ( and registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

Required Information[edit]

  • Full name
  • Identity number
  • Contact address and Phone number
  • Business Plan information
  • Occupation
  • Citizenship
  • Audited annual financial statements or audited financial forecasts
  • the name of the proposed University,
  • the location,
  • the mission and vision,
  • the nature of the proposed university and
  • its proposed focal niche in the current Nigerian University System,

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Need for the Document[edit]

From the historical account of the Nigerian University System, it is obvious that there are three different proprietors of university education in Nigeria. These are:-

  • The Federal government Universities ,
  • The State governments Universities and
  • The private or corporate bodies Universities
  • Irrespective of proprietorship, government is responsible for the licensing of universities in Nigeria.

Nevertheless, the procedures are different.

Information which might help[edit]

Enter other informations which might help

Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links[edit]

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More information which might help people.