- UTME applicants rate UNILORIN above other Nigerian tertiary institutions
- Imo state has highest number of applicants in last UTME more than eight northern states combined
- Top private institutions drop out of new ratings too
The University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) in Kwara state may yet be Nigeria's best higher institution if recent statistics are anything to go by.
The information emerged from the computer-based test conducted by the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) from February 27 to March 3 across 540 centres in the country.
The institution has in the last two years, topped the list of Nigeria's 'most sought after' universities in the UTME.
According to information made available to The Punch, UNILORIN attracted 103, 238 applicants in the last UTME with second-placed UNIBEN coming second with 81, 363 applications.
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna state, with 75, 383 applicants and 56-year-old University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu state, attracted 65, 954 candidates to place third and fourth respectively.
Bayero University in the ancient city of Kano placed fifth with 64, 220 while the Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka bossing 61, 862 stood at sixth.
The prestigious University of Lagos (60, 659 candidates) stood at seventh with Nigeria’s oldest varsity, University of Ibadan, rating eighth with 59, 176 candidates.
One of Nigeria's finest, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, remained ninth (from last year) with the 45, 924 candidates seeking admission to the institution while the University of Jos improved on its rankings with 40, 366 applicants to complete the top ten 'most sought after' tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
Covenant University continued to lead the pack for the private institutions, with Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state; Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun state and the Igbinedion University, Benin, Edo state all following in the top four with 2, 586; 1, 304, 1, 248 and 418 applicants respectively.
Others are Madonna University, Okija, Anambra State (370); Bowen University, Iwo (329); Al-Qalam University, Katsina (308) and the Baze University, FCT (277); Bingham University (247); Benson Idahosa University, Edo (204) in fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth positions in that order.
There was however, no place on the top ten for the Bell University, Ota (reportedly owned by ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo) and the American University of Nigeria, Yola, Adamawa state, founded by former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar.
Meanwhile, Imo state led in the number of candidates who sat for the UTME in Nigeria with a total of 104, 383 candidates, overshadowing the 98,028 candidates who sat for same examination from eight northern states and Federal Capital Territory.
A reliable source at the National Universities Commission (NUC) told The Punch on Monday that the carrying capacity of all tertiary institutions in the country this yearn is 695, 449 out of the 1, 592, 305 million candidates that sat for the examination.
The source also revealed that of the 1,592,305 applicants, 1,557,017 of them, representing 97.78 per cent, applied for university education, while 17,673 or 1.11 per cent sought admission to the colleges of education.
Seventeen thousand five hundred and eight-four, representing 1.10 candidates, applied for National Diploma in the polytechnics. The remaining 31 applicants, representing 0.002 per cent, applied for NID.
Professor Dibu Ojerinde, had also recently announced that 180 marks would be the minimum score for any candidate seeking admission to the nation’s higher institutions this year.