Volume 3, Issue 1, 2011
Authors: Richard INGWE, Chibueze C.C. IKEJI, Ude UGWU
SUB-NATIONAL REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND DEGREEAWARDING TERTIARY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN NIGERIA: DESCRIPTIVE, GEO-DEMOGRAPHIC AND GEO-SPATIAL ANALYSES
Public and private investments in educational institutions as a means of catalysing economic growth has been recognized a veritable strategy for developing human capital, increasing productivity and competitiveness at various regional levels. Nigeria’s multiplicity of cultural groups whose political sensitivity to (in)equality in the sharing of nationally pooled resources has been a source of conflicts including the 1967-70 civil war, presents an ideal scenario for understanding the extent of balance or otherwise of tertiary educational opportunities across the national landscape. This has not been sufficiently addressed in the academic literature. This article reports findings of a study of the provision of degree-awarding tertiary educational institutions (TEIs) by governments and private entities in Nigeria’s sub-national regions. Geo-demographic-spatial and description analyses were used to analyze secondary data. We found among others that: the numbers of TEIs provided in the sub-national regions (geo-political zones and their constituent states) have not been determined by the population size of the sub-national regions (state/territory); highest concentration/localisation of TEIs were in Nigeria’s South-West geo-political zone. It is argued that the full government financing of education implemented in the former (South) Western Region about half a century ago (since the 1950s) laid the foundation for creating critically needed human capital mass that has continued to regenerate in multi-dimensional strategies for establishing more TEIs thereby promoting regional development in the present South-West Region thereby contrasting with Nigeria’s other geo-political regions.Key words: sub-national region, education, investment, economic growth, human capital, Nigeria.