Home Anti-Corruption FACT CHECK: Femi Adesina made multiple claims in his fact sheet, how true are they?

On April 30, 2023, Femi Adesina, the special adviser on media and publicity to Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, released a fact sheet comprising a list of achievements accomplished during the current administration.

The fact sheet was divided into various categories such as health and education, social investment and poverty alleviation, infrastructural development, financing and investment, agriculture, anti-corruption and transparency amongst others.

The CDD Election War Room ran checks on the education section of the fact sheet to verify the authenticity of the claims.

Claim I: Since 2015, Buhari’s administration has licensed 94 additional universities, taking the total number of registered universities in Nigeria from 128 to 222.


We checked through the official website of the National Universities Commission (NUC), which is the accreditation body for universities in Nigeria. The NUC portal shows that there are a total of 221 universities made up of state, federal and private universities in the country.

According to the details on the Commission’s portal, there are currently 50 federal universities, and the last registered was the David Nweze Umahi Federal University of Medical Sciences, Uburu, licensed in 2022.

State universities are a total of 60, with the last registered being Sa’adatu Rimi University of Education, licensed in 2023. The total number of private universities in the country is the highest, which currently stands at 111, while 10 new private universities were registered in 2022.

Screenshot showing the list of registered federal universities on NUC portal
Screenshot showing the list of registered state universities on NUC portal
Screenshot showing the list of registered private universities on NUC portal

Verdict: Inaccurate

The claim that there are 222 universities in Nigeria, is inaccurate. We can confirm that the total number of registered universities in the country as of May 2023, is 221, according to the data available on the official portal of the NUC.

Claim II: Since 2015, the federal government has disbursed more than N240 billion in Universal Basic Education (UBE) matching grants, and over N24 billion from the Teachers Professional Development Fund, to States and the FCT.


To verify the authenticity of the claim, the CDD Election War Room perused the official website of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). The data by UBEC reveals that the total matching grants to states stood at N291bn. 

The data obtained from the Commission shows that in 2015 and 2016, a total of N71bn was disbursed. 

The government disbursed the sum of N48bn, N55bn, N56bn, N26bn, and N35bn in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively.

As for the Teachers Professional Development Fund, data obtained from UBEC only covered from 2009 to 2018. We, however, found that the total sum of funds disbursed to states and the FCT stood at N25.3bn.

The breakdown shows that the federal government disbursed N11bn in 2015 and 2016, while the sum of N15bn was released between 2018 and 2019.

Verdict: True

The federal government disbursed an estimated sum of N291bn as matching grants from 2015 to 2021, and an estimated sum of N25bn from 2015 to 2019.

Claim III: Launch of the Alternate School Programme (ASP), designed to ensure that every out-of-school child in Nigeria gains access to quality basic education, irrespective of social, cultural or economic circumstance, in line with the aspirations of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG-4).


Credible media outlets reported that the president inaugurated an 18-member Presidential Steering Committee on the Alternate School Programme (ASP) on January 26, 2021.

The Committee was co-chaired by Sadiya Umar Farouq, the minister of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development alongside Mallam Adamu Adamu, the minister of Education. The development was reported here and here.

Verdict: True

Claim IV: Launch of the At-Risk-Children Project (ARC-P)


Multiple reports from credible media outlets show that the ARC-P began in 2022 in states such as Borno, Ondo and Kaduna. The project is an initiative of the Buhari-led administration aimed at proving a sense of belonging to children and youth exposed to diverse forms of vulnerability.

Verdict: True

Claim 5: Presidential approval for;

(i) a new (extended) retirement age of 65 and length of service of 40 years for teachers in Nigerian public basic and secondary schools in Nigeria (both effective January 1, 2021)

(ii) a new Special Teachers Salary Scale (effective January 1, 2022)

(iii) a new Special Teachers’ Pension Scheme

(iv) establishment of the National Senior Secondary Education Commission (NSSEC) to regulate secondary education in the country


(i) Muhammadu Buhari, while commemorating World Teachers Day, approved a special salary scale for teachers, and increased the number of years of service to 40 and the retirement age to 65 years.

Also on April 8, 2022, the president signed into law, a bill to extend the retirement age and length of service for teachers, to 65 and 40 years respectively. However, multiple reports dated January  22 2021, attributed to the minister of education, stated that the new retirement age took effect on January 1, 2021, almost a year prior to Buhari accenting the bill. Adamu Adamu, who is the minister of Education, stated that the take-off would not be a ‘uniform take-off date’. 

Verdict: True

(ii) Buhari approved a new special teacher’s salary scale on October 5, 2020. The new special salary scale according to the (then) minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, was to commence on January 1, 2022. However, multiple reports state that the new salary scale as of September 2022 was yet to be implemented.

Verdict: Partly true

(iii) Buhari, as part of the welfare packages for teachers, approved a new special teachers pension scheme on October 5, 2020. However, Vanguard reported that the gazette to make it effective nationwide was yet to be released as of January 2023.

Verdict: True

(iv) The Nigerian government, through the Ministry of Education in 2021, approved the resuscitation of the National Secondary Education Commission (NSSEC) Act 1999 Cap. No.73 LFN 2004, to oversee the affairs of senior secondary schools in Nigeria.

Verdict: True

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