Between 1948 and 1999, universities in Nigeria were owned and managed by only the government (Federal and States). But in 1999, Chief (Dr.) Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, an Edo philanthropist and influential businessman, took a bold step to establish the first private university known as Igbinedion University at Okada in Edo State.
I was one of those who wondered back then, whether the management of private universities could be sustained in Nigeria. But commendably, this bold step of Chief Igbinedion has opened an avalanche for more private universities since then; and we now have up to 50 of such operating in different parts of the country.
Let us now discuss the top 10 or best 10 of the private universities in Nigeria, which have been ranked on academic standards, facilities, locations, cost etc, by Webometrics, ThatScholar and other sources.
1. Covenant University
Covenant University which is located at Ota in Ogun State, and which was licensed by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2002, is ranked to be the best private University in Nigeria. It is said to be built on solid moral foundation as set by its Founder/Chancellor, Dr. David O. Oyedepo. This university’s fees per session is N432,000.00.
2. Babcock University
Next in ranking is Babcock University in Ilisan Remo in Ogun State. This university which charges N620,000.00 as fees per session, is very innovative, and has continued to introduce effective policies which have constantly improved the standards of the institution and its students.
3. Joseph Ayo Babalola University
Joseph Ayo Babalola University was established by the Christ Apostolic Church Worldwide in 2004 in Ikeji-Arakeji. This university is reputed to have pioneered the trend for entrepreneurship education in Nigeria, and as a result of its success in doing so, the National Universities Commission has made it mandatory for entrepreneurship to be included in general studies in the various degree programmes of all universities in Nigeria. Its fee is about N436,000.00 per session.
4. Bowen University
The church-owned Bowen University in Iwo, is the fourth best private university in Nigeria. Equipped with many qualified lecturers, this university runs many under-graduate programmes and a post-graduate school. Its school fees is about N750,000.00 per session.
5. Redeemers’ University
Fifth in the ranking of private universities in Nigeria, is Redeemer’s University which is temporarily located at the Redemption Camp, Km. 46 Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State. This university is built by the Redeemed Christian Church of God, and its current temporary location makes it attractive.