November 8, 2016: Clifford University, named after the first Adventist missionary to eastern Nigeria, was given a provisional license by the Nigerian government to operate for three years.
Jesse Clifford, a British missionary, brought Adventism to eastern Nigeria in 1923.
Along with seven other new universities that received federal approval and licensing on November 2, Clifford University has been assigned a more established university to mentor the institution during its first three years of operation.
The online edition of Nigerian newspaper Vanguard stated that Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwuka, said, “The new universities would be supervised by the older universities within their zone for a period of three years to assist them [and] put necessary infrastructure in place.”
The mentoring institution will not be Babcock University, the other Adventist university in Nigeria. Instead, Clifford will be mentored by federally-run Michael Okpara University of Agriculture.
The new university will be located on land in eastern Nigeria that was owned by an Adventist school before it was claimed by the government after the 1967-70 civil war. The land was given back to the Adventist Church in 2013.
The newest batch of approved universities brings the tally of Nigerian universities to 151, 69 of which are privately run.