In 2012, after a prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the federal government set up a Needs Assessment Committee to look into the state of public universities in the country. That committee which was a product of the negotiations between the FG and ASUU was chaired by Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who has now been tapped to head the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The committee made several recommendations, but it also gave us some important data about Nigeria’s higher institutions like the fact that there were 1,252,913 students in all public universities: 85% of them undergraduates, 5% sub-degree, 3% doing postgraduate diplomas, 5% masters and 2% PhDs. The figures are for the year 2012, so details will definitely have changed.
Another detail given by the committee was the population of students in the universities. Below are the top 10 most populated universities in the country.
University of Jos: UNIJOS was established in 1971 as a satellite campus of the University of Ibadan. It is located along Bauchi Road, Jos, Plateau State. The report put the number of students at 37, 430. There were 1001 academic staff and 2123 non-academic staff. Its current Vice- Chancellor is Professor Hayward Babale Mafuyai.
University of Maiduguri: UNIMAID has a population of 42, 423 students, 1196 academic staff and 2,225 non-academic staff. Established in 1975, UNIMAID is located at Bama, Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital. Its current Vice-Chancellor is Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi.
Ekiti State University: This University was established as Obafemi Awolowo University in 1982. The name was changed to Ondo State University in 1985, then to University of Ado-Ekiti in 1999 and to its current name, Ekiti State University (EKSU) in 2011. It is located at Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State and has a student population of 44094. It has an academic staff strength of 532 and a non-academic staff strength of 1, 467. Professor Patrick Oladipo Aina is the current VC of the Institution.
University of Lagos: UNILAG was established in 1962. Located at Akoka, Yaba, with its Medical Campus at Idi-Araba, Surulere, UNILAG has 49,179 students, 1, 052 members of academic staff and 2, 570 non-academic staff. Its current VC is Prof. Rahmon Ade Bello.
Ahmadu Bello University: Popularly known as ABU Zaria, this University was established in 1962 and is located at Zaria, Kaduna State. It has 49436 students, 1815 academic staff and 4,362 non-academic staff. Prof. Ibrahim Garba is the current VC of the institution.
University of Port- Harcourt: UNIPORT was established in 1975 as a University College. It was accorded a full-fledged university status in 1977. Located at East/West road, Choba, Port Harcourt, the University has 53, 288 students, an academic staff strength of 1,561, and a non-academic staff strength of 1, 456. Its current Vice- Chancellor is Prof. Ndowa Lale.
University of Benin: UNIBEN was established as an Institute of Technology in 1970. It was accorded a full-fledged UNIVERSITY status in 1971. The University is located at Ugbowo, Benin City, and also has a campus at Ekehuan, Benin City. Uniben has 56, 501 students, an academic staff strength of 1,418 and a non-academic staff strength of 4,326. Its current Vice-Chancellor is Professor Faraday Orumwense.
National Open University of Nigeria, Lagos: Popularly known as NOUN, this University was established in 1983, but was suspended by the government in 1984. It was reopened in 2001 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. It is headquarted at Victoria Island, Lagos with study centres across the country. NOUN has a student population of 57759. The academic staff strength is 159, while the non-academic staff strength currently stands at 954. Its current Vice-Chancellor is Prof. Vincent Tenebe.
University of Abuja: Located along Airport Road, Gwagwalada, Abuja, Uniabuja was founded in 1988. With 62, 528 students, this University ranks 2nd place on the most populated Nigerian University list. It has an academic staff strength of 514, and non-academic staff strength of 1623. Its current vice-chancellor is Professor Michael Umale Adikwu.
Lagos State University: LASU was founded in 1983. Located at Ojo, Lagos State, it tops the list of universities with the highest number of students in Nigeria with a population of 90,885 students. The Academic staff strength is 795, while the non-academic staff strength is 2190. The current Vice-Chancellor is Prof. John Obafunwa.