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FACT CHECK: Has FG Approved Markaz University?

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Ridwan Yusuf
Ridwan Yusuf

Ridwan is a trained Communicator who provides professional coverage of general news and sports. ...

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A blog, Guide your way Islamic tv, on June 8 claimed that Arabic and Islamic Training Centre, widely known as Markaz Agege has been approved as a University by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Guide your way Islamic tv, which is run by popular blogger, Yahya Gambari is followed by 110,000+ people on Facebook.

It credited another blog, Yayi TV for the 'news'.

Markaz University

A different one, My Naija TV also published same news on June 8, saying "the Arabic Institute has been upgraded to University by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Lecture to commence at Markaz University by September/October 2021".

Markaz University

Sege TV too published the information.

It is noteworthy that none of these reports quoted any Nigerian government official as announcing the approval. There is also no official statement in that regard from Markaz Agege hierarchy led by Sheikh Habeeb Adam Abdullahi Al-Ilory. Yet, many Facebook users have circulated the 'news'. See samples below:

Markaz University Nigeria

A screengrab

Markaz University Nigeria

Another one

Markaz University Nigeria

AllNews reviews this claim.

Snapshot of Markaz Agege

Markaz Agege was established in 1952 by Sheikh Adam Abdullah Al-Ilory.

Sheikh Adam Abdullah Al-Ilory

The Islamic scholar who died in 1992 is credited with introducing modernity into the learning of Arabic language and Islamic culture in West African sub-region, especially Nigeria.

From Markaz Agege, generations of Islamic scholars in Fiqih, Tafsir, Sharia, Sunnah and, Qur'anic and Hadith exegetes originated.

A building in the premises of Markaz Agege

A building in the premises of Markaz Agege

AllNews understands that many clerics from various parts of Nigeria as well as neighbouring countries like Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, Cote de Voire, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Senegal are alumni of Markaz Agege.

Markaz University

Last time Nigerian government approved new private universities

The last time the federal government ratified the establishment of private universities was on Wednesday, February 3, 2021, when Adamu Adamu, the country's minister of education, announced the approvals after a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He gave the names of the approved institutions as Topfaith University, Mkpatak, Akwa Ibom State; Thomas Adewumi University, Oko-Irese, Kwara State; Maranathan University, Mgbidi, Imo State; Ave Maria University, Piyanko, Nasarawa State, and Al-Istiqama University, Sumaila, Kano State.

Others: Mudiame University, Irrua, Edo State; Havilla University, Nde-Ikom, Cross River State; Claretian University of Nigeria, Nekede, Imo State; NOK University, Kachia, Kaduna State and Karl-Kumm University, Vom, Plateau State.

Also approved: James Hope University, Lagos, Lagos State; Maryam Abacha American University of Nigeria, Kano, Kano State; Capital City University, Kano, Kano State; Ahman Pategi University, Pategi, Kwara State, and the University of Offa, Offa, Kwara State.

Others: Mewar University, Masaka, Nasarawa State, Edusoko University, Bida, Niger State; Philomath University, Kuje, Abuja; Khadija University, Majia, Jigawa State and Anan University, Kwall, Plateau State.

The minister had said that the 20 new private universities' provisional licences will run for three years ”while the ministry monitors and evaluates their growth”.

Afterwards, these 20 universities were issued their provisional licenses in April.

It brought the total number of private universities in Nigeria to 99, and an overall total of 197.

The list of some already established private universities can be found here.

Are there Nigerian-based private Islamic universities?

Yes, there are. Al-Qalam University, Katsina (AUK), formerly known as Katsina University, Katsina (KUK) is the first private Islamic tertiary institution in Nigeria. Another Islamic tertiary institution in Nigeria is Al-Hikmah University, Kwara State, North-Central geopolitical zone.

When both learning institutes were established, it was consequent upon license given by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

In the case of the supposed Markaz University, there is no news in the public domain from a reputable source about approval of the new private university (ies).

AllNews' Conclusion

'News' that the FG has approved Markaz University is erroneous.

No such announcement has been made by authorities in Nigeria.


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Ridwan Yusuf
Ridwan Yusuf

Ridwan is a trained Communicator who provides professional coverage of general news and sports. ...

More From this Author

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