Top 10 Best Universities In Nigeria – The Complete List

Top 10 best universities in Nigeria include: University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, Covenant University, University of Ilorin, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Obafemi Awolowo University, etc.

The Nigerian university system has constantly witnessed appreciable developments in academic breakthroughs, infrastructure, technology, competitiveness, innovations, and best practices trends. It wouldn’t be out of place to say that some of these Nigerian universities are trying to attain the best level of standard that could someday measure up with other advanced western universities.

Nigerian students and university authorities now keep their fingers crossed as they eagerly wait for the yearly ranking of the best performing university of the year to see whether they make it among the best universities in Nigeria. The university rating system in Nigeria is guided by certain NUC criteria that serve as indicators for considerations.

The highlight of some of these indicators includes yardsticks like the percentage of the university’s academic programs with full accreditation status, stability of university calendar, research output, Ph.D. graduate output, student completion rate, and many others. This article presents the top 10 best universities in Nigeria with their features, performance, and past records.

List of Best Universities in Nigeria

1. University of Ibadan (UI)

best universities in Nigeria
image source University of Ibadan
  • Location: Ibadan, Oyo State
  • Fees: New students N36,800; Returning students N25,000
  • Ranking: World Rank – (501-600th)
  • Owner: Nigerian Government
  • Year It was Founded: 1948
  • Number of Campuses: 2
  • Type: Federal University

Making it to the top position as the overall best university in Nigeria in 2022 is the prestigious University of Ibadan (UI). The university is regarded as the oldest and the first full-fledged university in Nigeria founded way back in 1948. Initially, it was an affiliated college of the University of London, but it became totally independent in 1962 shortly after Nigeria gained independence.

Interestingly, the university started off with only three departments, and with the passage of time, it grew into having up to 92 academic departments sub-divided into 17 faculties.  The UI graduate school happens to be the largest in Africa.

In terms of tuition fees, the university fees are relatively quite affordable as new students pay about N36,800 while returning students pay about N25,000; however, these fees may differ depending on the department or faculty. Obviously, the fees of the university are cheap due to the fact that it is a federal university. In terms of facilities and infrastructure, the university is known for having some of the best state-of-the-art structures as well as academic equipment and highly comfortable accommodation both for students and staff members.

This great university has produced a lot of famous and influential personalities in Nigeria including the likes of:

  • Wole Soyinka – Nobel Prize laureate
  • Chinua Achebe – Writer and Novelist
  • Sadique Abubakar – Nigeria Chief of Air Staff
  • Ladipo Ayodeji Banjo – Former vice-chancellor of the University of Ibadan
  • Robert Ajayi – Nigerian Senator
  • Kayode Fayemi – Governor of Ekiti State
  • Funmi Iyanda – Nigerian talk show host, broadcaster, journalist
  • William Kumuyi – founder and General overseer of Deeper Christian Life Ministry,
  • Christopher Okigbo – Writer and Novelist
  • Ifeanyi Okowa – Governor of Delta State
  • Isidore Okpewho – Novelist
  • Michael Omolewa – Former President of UNESCO General Conference
  • Niyi Osundare – African Poet
  • Ken Saro-Wiwa – Activist

The university has always been on the list in several best universities rankings over the years and has earned some awards, including NMGS/CHEVRON RESEARCH AWARD 2010 while its alumni have won several national and internal awards.

2. University of Lagos (UNILAG)

image source UNILAG
  • Location: Lagos State
  • Fees: New students N60,000 -70,000; Returning students N28,000 – N30,000
  • Ranking: World Rank – (501-600th)
  • Owner: Federal Government
  • Year It was Founded:  1963
  • Number of Campuses: 5 Campuses
  • Type: Federal University

It is impossible to make any form of universities rankings in Nigeria without a mention of the popular UNILAG. This could be said to be the most popular university in Nigeria, famous for producing a large proportion of Nigerian celebrities and eminent personalities.

The University of Lagos was established in 1962, and has since then, distinguished itself as the first-generation university that it is. Since its inception, UNILAG never failed to make it to the top spot of major best university rankings in the country and has also been recognized globally. UNILAG is a major public research university offering a very wide variety of courses.

Being the most competitive university in Nigeria, in terms of admission, the University of Lagos currently admits over 9,000 undergraduate students annually and enrolls over 60,000 students. The University of Lagos currently has 12 faculties; Basic Medical Sciences, Business Administration, Science, and Social Sciences. Clinical Sciences, Dental Sciences, Education, Arts, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Law, and Pharmacy.

The school has one of the best structures, infrastructure, research facilities, and a good learning environment. Even so, the tuition fee of the university is not very expensive considering the level of facilities in the university. For new students, the tuition fee is between N60,000 – N70,000 while for returning students is between N28,000 – N35,000 based on the courses. This has paved way for almost every category of Nigerians to enroll in the university.

Due to its excellent performance, UNLAG is always at the top of the best university ratings. For instance, it was ranked the third best university in Africa by Forbes magazine. Again, for the research activities constantly conducted in the university, it was ranked the best university in Nigeria in 2008 at the Nigerian University System Annual Merit Award (NUSAMA) by the National Universities Commission (NUC). In this regard, UNILAG earned the name “the university of first choice and the nation’s pride”.

The university is known for producing highly competent and intelligent graduates, and it has produced countless prominent figures and celebrities in Nigeria. Some of the eminent products of the university include:

  • Yemi Osinbajo – Vice-president, Federal Republic of Nigeria
  • Babajide Sanwo-Olu – Governor of Lagos State
  • Joke Silva – Award-winning actress, director, and producer
  • Omoyele Sowore – Founder of Sahara Reporters
  • Gabriel Suswam – Former governor of Benue State
  • Farida Mzamber Waziri – Former chairman, EFCC
  • Sasha P – Rapper, musician, businesswoman, lawyer, and motivational speaker
  • Ogbonnaya Onu – First executive governor of Abia State
  • Dele Olojede – Journalist, first African born winner of the Pulitzer Prize
  • Ikedi Ohakim – Former governor of Imo State
  • Genevieve Nnaji – Award-winning actress, director, and producer
  • Lai Mohammed – Lawyer and politician
  • Mayorkun – Award-winning musician
  • Toke Makinwa – Award-winning radio and television personality
  • Laycon – Rapper, singer, and songwriter, winner Big Brother Naija season 5
  • Adetokunbo Kayode – Lawyer and politician
  • Femi Gbajabiamila – Lawyer and politician
  • Kayode Fayemi – Governor of Ekiti State
  • Tony Elumelu – Economist, entrepreneur and philanthropist
  • Grace Ekpiwhre – Former minister of science and technology
  • Denrele Edun – Award-winning radio and television personality
  • Ufuoma Ejenobor – Actor and model
  • Stella Damasus – Actress and singer
  • Gbenga Daniel – Former governor of Ogun State
  • Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo – Former governor of Gombe State
  • Reekado Banks – Singer and songwriter
  • Teju Babyface – Comedian
  • ELDee – Rapper, singer, and record producer
  • Regina Askia-Williams – Nurse practitioner, actress
  • Daré Art-Aladé – Singer
  • Yemi Alade – Award-winning musician
  • Akinwunmi Ambode – Former Governor of Lagos State
  • Rilwan Akiolu – Oba of Lagos
  • Funke Akindele – Award-winning actress and producer
  • Wale Adenuga – Publisher and film producer

3. Covenant University, Ota

image source
  • Location: Ota, Ogun state
  • Fees: New students N977,500; Returning students N857,500
  • Ranking: World Rank – (601-800th)
  • Owner: David Oyedepo, Founder Of Living Faith Church Worldwide
  • Year It was Founded: October 21, 2002
  • Number of Campuses: 1
  • Type: Private University

Covenant University comes third on the list of 10 best universities in Nigeria. It is one of the leading private universities in the country. It is also more of a Christian university with high standards of morals and academics. It was officially established in 2002 at Ota, southwestern Nigeria by David Oyedepo – the founder and general overseer of the Living Faith Church Worldwide. The foundation of establishing the university kicked off back in October 1999. Also, the university is a product of the Liberation Commission and was established on the principles of Pentecostal Christian mission philosophy.

As far as quality education is concerned in Nigeria, Covenant University has always remained at the top and is committed to improving the standard of education in the country. The university often stands out among all other private universities in Nigeria considering its overall academic excellence, along with the best learning structures, good infrastructure, comfortable accommodation, and highly qualified academic team. The university is also subdivided into some colleges such as College of Engineering, College of Business & Social sciences, College of  Science and Technology, and College of Leadership Development Studies.

Covenant University has often made it in the list of best-performing universities in Nigeria in both national and international rankings. Covenant University was the best private university in Nigeria in 2018 in the NUC ranking. It made history in 2019 as it became the first Nigerian university to make an appearance in the international World Universities ranking of Times Higher Education. Additionally, Covenant University got selected as one of the Africa Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact).

In 2017, it got the award for the best private university in Nigeria award by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The school was Best Private University in Nigeria in 2013-2014 consecutively. In 2014, it was awarded the Best Vice-Chancellor of Private University in Nigeria award, as well as The Centenary ICT Driven University of the Year.

The University has quite an expensive tuition fee said to range from N977,500.00 to N857,500.00 for returning students, though the fee could vary depending on the level and course of study. This entails that, unlike the federal Universities that every average Nigerian can afford, Covenant University is mostly for the upper class.

The university provides the most premium and comfortable learning environment and facilities with both foreign and local professors which explains why it is so expensive. Yet, it has been criticized in some quarters for having very exorbitant tuition fees even though it is a Christian or missionary institution. Reports have it that Covenant University is renowned for being the university that produces the best software developers in Nigeria and Africa. It has also produced countless famous people and celebrities who are prominent in their various careers.

Some of their notable alumni include:

  • Simi – Singer
  • Ric Hassani – Singer
  • Ini Dima-Okojie – Actress
  • Chike – Singer
  • Bez – Singer
  • Nonso Amadi – Singer
  • Anthonia Adenike Adeniji – Academic
  • Bimbo Ademoye – Actress
  • Dolapo ‘LowlaDee’ Adeleke – Filmmaker
  • Baaj Adebule – Actor

4. University of Ilorin

image source University of Ilorin
  • Location: Ilorin, Kwara State
  • Fees: New students N30,000 to N50,000; Returning students N20,000 to 25,000
  • Ranking: World Rank – (1201+)
  • Owner: Federal Government
  • Year It was Founded: 1975
  • Number of Campuses: 2 Campuses
  • Type: Federal University

Coming at the 4th position is another center of academic excellence – the University of  Ilorin. Established in 1975, the University of Ilorin is situated at Ilorin, Kwara State. The university came into existence by a military decree, during the 1975 military regime under the second Military Governor of Kwara State, the late Colonel Ibrahim Taiwo. Later in October 1977, the institution gained its full autonomous status and Professor O.O Akinkugbe became the first Vice-Chancellor of the university.

The university runs Undergraduate Degree programs and Postgraduate programs. It is made up of 15 faculties with as many as 60 departments. The faculties include the faculties of Basic Medical Sciences and Clinical Sciences, Arts, Agriculture, Communication and Information Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Management Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Education, Engineering and Technology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, and Law.

In addition, there are two other institutes; the Institute of Education and the Unilorin Sugar Research Institute. The university also has commendable structures and learning facilities to enhance research and other innovations in the University. It is also an average fees institution with its tuition estimated to range between N30,000 to N50,000 for new entrants and returning students may pay between N20,000 to N25,000 depending on the course.

The University of Ilorin is also not left out among institutions with eminent personalities. It has produced several important figures in Nigeria, notable among them are:

  • Abdulfatah Ahmed – Former Kwara State Governor
  • Nkem Owoh – Veteran Nigerian actor and comedian
  • Femi Adebayo – Nollywood actor
  • Sarah Alade – Banker, former acting Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria.
  • Salamat Ahuoiza Aliu – First woman neurosurgeon in West Africa
  • Olawunmi Toriola – Nigerian actress and movie producer
  • Laolu (Olaolu) Senbanjo – Singer/songwriter, and former human rights attorney.
  • Shadrach Adeboye Folarin known as Shaydee – Nigerian singer-songwriter and vocalist.
  • Johnson Bamidele Olawumi – Former Director-General, National Youth Service Corps.
  • Is-haq Oloyede – Registrar for the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB)

5. University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN)

  • Location: Nsukka, Enugu State
  • Fees: New students N71,000; Returning students N45,000
  • Ranking: World rank – (1201+)
  • Owner: Federal Government
  • Year It was Founded:  1955
  • Number of Campuses: 3 Campuses
  • Type: Federal University

Claiming the fifth position on the ranking is the famous University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN). The university is a federal government-owned institution established by the first executive president of Nigeria Nnamdi Azikiwe in 1955. The school was officially opened in 1960. UNN has often been regarded as one of the finest Nigerian universities, owing to its facilities and quality of graduates it produces year-in-year-out. The university has one of the highest and rich varieties of departments you could find in any Nigerian university. It operates under 15 faculties.

While offering up to 82 undergraduate programs and 211 graduate programs, there are as many as 102 different departments, spread across these faculties. UNN has three campuses which are: Nsukka Campus, Enugu Campus (UNEC), the University Teaching Hospital (UNTH) in Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu. The school is known for its deep research activities in different key fields such as institutes of African studies, education, development, postgraduate studies, and medical research. There are also centers of research in space science, energy research, and climate change.

In terms of its tuition, UNN being a federal university has quite an affordable tuition fee. New students usually pay a N71,000 and N30,000 acceptance fee, while returning students’ fees range from N45,000 to N77,000 depending on the department. UNN always secures a good spot in the best universities ranking in Nigeria and even internationally. In the recent 2022 edition of the World University Rankings, UNN was ranked among 1001+ universities in the world.

The university is one of the leading universities producing the best of graduates in the country. The school has produced the highest number of governors, senators, vice-chancellors, and professors in Nigeria without mentioning countless other celebrities actors, musicians, entrepreneurs, and so on. Some of its famous alumni include:

  • Ike Ekweremadu – Former Deputy Senate President
  • Dora Akunyili – Former NAFDAC Director-General and Federal Minister
  • Charles Chukwuma Soludo – Former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor
  • Lam Adesina – Governor of Oyo State (1999–2003)
  • Sullivan Chime – Former Governor of Enugu State (2007 – 2015)
  • Chris Ngige – Former Governor of Anambra State (2003–2007), Senator, and Minister
  • Peter Obi – Former Governor of Anambra State
  • Peter Odili – Former Governor of Rivers State (1999–2007)
  • Oserheimen Osunbor – Former Governor of Edo State (2007–2008) and Senator (1999–2007)
  • Okwesilieze Nwodo – Former Governor of Enugu State (1992 – 1993)
  • Patrick Utomi – Nigerian Presidential Candidate (2007 elections)
  • Michael J.C. Echeruo – Pioneer Vice-Chancellor, Imo State University (1981 – 1988); Professor of English
  • Eni Njoku – Professor of Botanist; First Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, 1962 – 1965 and Vice-Chancellor, University of Nigeria, 1966 – 1967
  • Augustine N. Njoku-Obi – Professor of Virology; Developer of Cholera vaccine during the Nigerian-Biafran War
  • Ola-Rotimi Matthew Ajayi – Pioneer Vice-Chancellor, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State (2011 – ); Professor of Political Science
  • Abhulimen Richard Anao – Vice-Chancellor, University of Benin, Nigeria (1999–2004)
  • Christian C. Anieke – Pioneer Vice-Chancellor, Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu (2009 – ); Professor of English and Catholic Priest
  • Boniface C.E. Egboka – Vice-Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State (June 2009); Professor of Environmental Hydrogeology
  • James Epoke – Vice-Chancellor, the University of Calabar (2010 – ); Professor of Microbiology
  • Chibuzo Ogbuagu – Vice-Chancellor, Abia State University, Uturu, Abia State; Professor of Economics
  • Godwin Emefiele – Former Group Managing Director/CEO, Zenith Bank Plc, and Central Bank Governor
  • O’tega Emerhor – Vice Chairman/Group CEO, Standard Alliance Insurance Plc
  • Obiageli Ezekwesili – Vice President (Africa Region), World Bank and Federal Minister of Education (2006–2007)
  • Glory Chuku – Former MBGN (Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria)
  • Aituaje Iruobe (WAJE) – Singer and songwriter
  • Chris Okotie – Televangelist and pastor of the Household of God Church International Ministries
  • Zack Orji – Nollywood Actor
  • Meki Nzewi – Professor of Music

These are just a hand full of some of UNN’s notable figures, as the list could go on and on. It is one of the Nigerian universities with the highest number of prominent figures alumni.

6. Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)

image source OAU
  • Location:  Ile Ife, Osun state
  • Fees: New students N43,000 – N57,000; Returning students N21,000 – N31,000
  • Ranking: World rank – (1201+)
  • Owner: Federal Government
  • Year It was Founded:  1962
  • Number of Campuses: 3 Campuses
  • Type: Federal University

Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), formally known as the University of Ife but changed to honor the first premier of the Western Region of Nigeria, was established in 1961 and started operating in 1962. The university is famous for its vast landmass which made it one of the largest in the country occupying an area of 11,862 hectares.

OAU is no doubt one of the premium academic institutions in Nigeria, owing to the quality of education obtainable in the university and for the fact that its alumni have always distinguished themselves in various fields of endeavors. The university operates in 13 faculties with 60 departments.

Obafemi Awolowo University has a central library named Hezekiah Oluwasanmi Library. It has a seating capacity of 2,500 and comes with free internet access for books and journals. The University also has one of the best ICT units with its own V-SAT. It is regarded as the leading ICT University with a bandwidth of 113 Mbit/s, in essence, it operates a campus network having a fiber optic backbone, 23 intra-networked subnets, as well as wireless access clouds (WiFi). One of its remarkable innovations is that it has the first iLab in Africa, south of Sahara established in collaboration with MIT.

In terms of its health facilities, the University’s medical and health center with its nine functional units offers primary healthcare services to the community. Also, the University Teaching Hospital gained popularity for being the first to conduct a successful separation of Siamese twins in sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, the teaching hospital also conducted some successful cochlear implantation under its otorhinolaryngology unit. The introduction of entrepreneurship education in Nigerian universities today is credited to OAU.

The university is known to have quite a large central campus, packed with a student’s residential area, staff housing, in addition to a teaching and research farm. Just like most Federal Universities, OAU has quite a cheap tuition fee that could be afforded by any class of society. Their tuition for new students is between N43,000 – N57,000 and returning students’ fees are between N21,000 – N31,000 depending on the course of study. It is safe to say that the high quality and modern facilities in the university is nothing compared to its meager tuition fees; this is one of the pros of attending federal universities.

OAU has also produced a significant number of eminent personalities performing amazingly well across every sphere of endeavors in Nigeria. Their notable alumni personalities include:

  • Adedamola Adefolahan known professionally as Fireboy DML – Nigerian singer and songwriter.
  • Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu – Lawyer, the Governor of Ondo State
  • Ọlagunsoye Oyinlọla – Former Governor of Osun State
  • Dapo Abiodun – Governor of Ogun State
  • Chief Dele Momodu – Nigerian journalist/publisher, businessman, and motivational speaker.
  • Dr. Akinwumi “Akin” Adesina – President of the African Development Bank and former Nigerian Minister
  • Oyedapo Oyekunle “Dapo” Olorunyomi – Nigerian journalist
  • Ambassador Akin Fayomi – Minister/Head of Political Affairs at the High Commission of Nigeria, London
  • Gbenga Francis Shobo – Managing Director/CEO, First Bank of Nigeria
  • Adejumoke Aderounmu – Nigerian actress

7. Federal University of Technology Minna (FUT MINNA)

image source FUT MINNA
  • Location: Minna, Niger State
  • Fees: New students N40,000 – N60,000; Returning students N20,000 – N25,000
  • Ranking:  World Rank – 2577
  • Owner: Federal Government
  • Year It was Founded:  1983
  • Number of Campuses: 2 Campuses
  • Type: Federal University

Known as the Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, the Federal University of Technology Minna is worthy to be among the top universities in Nigeria. FUT MINNA was founded in 1983, it is one university that stands out when it comes to technology education, little wonder, it has been classified as the Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering. What’s more, it is one of the few universities with a strong capacity for developing drugs and vaccines in Nigeria.

The university has two campuses; Bosso Campus and the main campus Gidan Kwano situated at Kataeregi, along Bida road. It has undergraduate, postgraduate, and Diploma programs, in various courses, mostly technology related. FUT MINNA has 10 faculties, across the faculties, there are about 52 departments and courses offered.

Also, the university is known for playing host to some very important centers for various research and development in the country including:

  • Centre of Excellence in Disaster Risk Management and Developmental Studies, operated by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
  • Centre for Climate Change and Freshwater Resources, which is associated to the Federal Ministry of Environment, a branch of the Global Institute for Bio Exploration (Rutgers University, NJ, USA)
  • Centre for Human Settlements and Urban Development (CHSUD) associated with the UN Human Settlements programme.
  • Directorate of Research and Development (DRID).
  • Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CGEB).
  • Centre for preliminary and Extra Mural Studies (CPES)
  • Centre for Open Distance and e-Learning (CODeL).
  • West African Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapter Land Use (WASCAL) and
  • Africa Centre of Excellence for Mycotoxin and Food Safety

In terms of the tuition fees, FUT MINNA has a relatively affordable fee being a Federal University. Its tuition is between N61,200 for new students while returning students pay around N28,200, though it may vary depending on the department.

The university has produced a couple of notable figures such as;

  • Uche Jombo Rodriguez – Actress and movie producer
  • Daniel Etim Effiong – Actor and filmmaker
  • Kemi Adesoye – Actress and screenwriter
  • Michael Akanji – a Sexual Health and Rights Advocate
  • Muhammad Nasirudeen Maiturare – Nigerian professor and former Vice-Chancellor of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University,
  • Benjamin Sokomba Dazhii – Nigerian animator, film director, and cinematographer

8.  Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria

image source ABU Zaria
  • Location: Zaria, Kaduna State
  • Fees: New students N60,000 – N70,000; Returning students N28,000 – N30000
  • Ranking: World rank – 1787
  • Owner: Federal Government
  • Year It was Founded:  1962
  • Number of Campuses: 2 Campuses
  • Type: Federal University

Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria is another remarkable federal University in Nigeria that has made a name for itself. It was founded on October 4, 1962, at Zaria, Kaduna state. It was named after the first premier of Northern Nigeria and former Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello. ABU Zaria is known to have quite a large variety of programs for undergraduate and graduate programs as well as other associate degrees and remedial programs; it is famous for housing one of the largest Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

The university operates two campuses; the Samaru or main campus and the Kongo campus located at Zaria. There is also a pre-degree school in Funtua. The school operates 13 faculties: Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Administration, Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Environmental Design, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Life Science, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science, Faculty of Physical Science, the Faculty of Social Science, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, and the Faculty of Medicine.

However, the Faculty of Medicine was later made College of Medical Sciences in 2018, operating 5 more faculties: Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, and Faculty of Allied Health Sciences. ABU Zaria has one of the top-notch educational facilities and the best structures put in place for optimal learning and research. It is also one of the most affordable Federal universities in terms of its tuition fees. The tuition fees of the university range between N40,000 to N44,000 for new students and returning students pay N23,000 to N27,000 depending on the course.

ABU is yet another university that has made the country proud, as it has produced lots of famous personalities in the country, especially political leaders. Its notable alumni include:

  • Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, GCFR – Former president of Nigeria
  • Atiku Abubakar GCON – Former vice president, Federal Republic of Nigeria
  • Namadi Sambo – Former vice president of Nigeria
  • Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai – Governor Kaduna State
  • Nuhu Ribadu – Former EFCC chairman
  • Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa – Former Governor Kaduna state
  • Mohammed Bello Adoke – Former Minister of Justice & Attorney General of the Federation
  • Yahaya Bello – Governor of Kogi state
  • Mohammed Bawa – Former Ekiti State Governor
  • Donald Duke – Former Cross River State Governor
  • Ibrahim Gaidam – Former Governor of Yobe State
  • Jerry Gana – Former information minister
  • Ibrahim Garba – Former vice-chancellor of ABU
  • Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya – Former Kano State governor
  • Bukar Ibrahim – Former Governor of Yobe State
  • Idris Legbo Kutigi – Former Chief Justice of Nigeria
  • Azubuike Ihejirika – Former Chief of Army Staff
  • Sanusi Lamido – Former governor Central Bank of Nigeria, former Emir of Kano
  • Dino Melaye – Senator
  • Dahiru Musdapher – Former chief justice of Nigeria
  • Ghali Umar Na’Abba – Former Speaker, House of Representatives
  • Usman Bayero Nafada – Former deputy speaker, House of Representatives
  • Samuel Ortom – Former Minister of State Trade and Investments
  • Ibrahim Shekarau – Former Kano State Governor
  • Ibrahim Shema – Former governor, Katsina State
  • Danbaba Suntai – Former governor, Taraba State
  • Nenadi Usman – Former finance minister
  • Isa Yuguda – Former governor, Bauchi State among others

ABU Zaria has always remained at the top ranking of best universities over the years, if not for anything but for the level of national leaders it keeps producing.

9. Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB)

image source FUNAAB
  • Location: Abeokuta, Ogun State
  • Fees: New students N62,000 – N72,000; Returning students N32,000 – N42,000
  • Ranking: World rank – 4210
  • Owner: Federal Government
  • Year It was Founded: 1988
  • Number of Campuses: 2 Campuses
  • Type: Federal University

The Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta has to be among the top 10 best universities in Nigeria for its equally impressive performances in academic research and innovations, over the years. FUNAAB was established on the 1st of January 1988 at Abeokuta, Ogun State, by the Federal government of Nigeria. It is one of the leading institutions championing agricultural revolutions and innovations in Nigeria. The university kicked off its operation at its old campus which was then known as Abeokuta Grammar School, Isale-Igbein but it later moved to the permanent site around Alabata Road in 1997.

FUNAAB is one of the three federal universities of agriculture in the country along with others in Makurdi, Benue State, and Umudike, Abia State. A look at the academic background of the university revealed that from the beginning it started with 5 colleges which are:

  • College of Agricultural Management, Rural Development and Communication Studies (COLAMRUCS), which was later changed to College of Agriculture Management and Rural Development(COLAMRUD)
  • College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM)
  • College of Environmental Resources Management (COLERM)
  • College of Natural Sciences (COLNAS)
  • College of Natural Science was reformed and redrafted into 2 colleges which are; College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS) and College of Biological Science (COLBIOS), and the College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT)

With the passage of time, 2 more colleges were introduced in 2002. They are;

  • College of Engineering (COLENG) and
  • College of Veterinary Medicine (COLVET)

Again in the 2008/2009 session, the College of Agricultural Management, Rural Development, and Communication Studies were sub-divided into 2, which are;

  • College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC) and
  • College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), while the college is College of Management Sciences (COLMAS) was recently added.

The university offers 179 academic programs, with 44 undergraduate programs and 135 graduate programs divided into 22 Postgraduate diploma programs, 57 Master’s degree programs, and 56 Doctorate degree programs. In addition, the university has a lot of other centers in various disciplines and they include:

Agricultural Media Resources and Extension center (AMREC), Biotechnology Center, Institute For Human Resources Development (INHURD), Leventis Memorial Center for Learning, ICT Resource Center (ICTREC), The Health Center, Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR), Directorate of Environmental Management (DEM), Directorate of University Farms (DUFARMS), Directorate of Technologist and Technical staff (DITTECS), Directorate of Grant Management, Center for Innovation and Strategy in Learning and Teaching (CISLT), SERVICOM, SIWES, FMENV/FUNAAB Center, and many others.

The university partners with several institutions and government agencies across the country and also has a lot of international collaborations. The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has entered into collaboration with the university in the areas of training and seminars. More so, the British Council has established an academic link program between FUNAAB and the University of Reading, University of Edinburgh, and the Macaulay Institute of Aberdeen, Scotland. This improved standard has made the university stand out as only a few other universities in the country attract such international partnerships.

With regards to its tuition fees, the university is also quite affordable for many average Nigerians just like other federal universities. Their basic tuition fees range from N62,000 to N72,000 for new entrants and N32,000 to N42,000 for returning students. The university has adequate facilities and structures competing with other first-grade universities across the country. FUNAAB has also produced a few notable figures in the country, in the likes of:

  • Kizz Daniel – Singer and songwriter
  • Fisayo Ajisola – Actress, model, and singer
  • Jumoke Odetola – Actress
  • Japheth J. Omojuwa – Social commentator and blogger
  • Oluseun Onigbinde – Tech entrepreneur

10. University of Benin

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  • Location: Benin – Ore Road, Benin City
  • Fees: New students N69,000 to N73,000; Returning students N14,000 to N25,000
  • Ranking: World rank – 3159
  • Owner: Federal Government
  • Year It was Founded: 1970
  • Number of Campuses: 2 Campuses
  • Type: Federal University

This ranking will not be complete without a mention of the University of Benin. UNIBEN is yet another federal government-owned research university founded in 1970 at Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. Just like other universities, UNIBEN also offers programs for undergraduate, postgraduate, and diploma certificates, in various disciplines. The university is also known for its premium research and academics.

The university has 2 campuses and it operates under 15 faculties, with up to 78 departments. The faculties are Faculty of Education, Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Management Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, Faculty of Physical Sciences, Faculty of Sch. of Basic Med. Science, Faculty of Sch. of Dentistry, Faculty of Social Sciences, and Faculty of Sch. of Medicine.

In January 2006, the College of Petroleum and Gas Engineering of the faculty at Effurun,  in Delta State was approved in the school. Owing to its excellence in research innovations, the University partners with other advanced universities across the globe. It also partners with other national and international agencies like USAID, Ford Foundation, UNCF (United Negro College Fund), Raw Materials Research & Development Council of Nigeria (RMRDC),  mostly in the areas such as Public Health, Agriculture, and Engineering.

The university has groomed and produced many national figures and prominent personalities in the country. Some of its notable alumni include:

  • Bright Okpocha aka Basketmouth – Comedian
  • Richard Mofe-Damijo – Nollywood actor
  • James Ibori – Former Governor of Delta State
  • Emmanuel Uduaghan – Former governor, Delta State
  • Amaju Pinnick – President Nigeria Football Federation
  • Ovie Omo-Agege – Senator
  • Josephine Anenih – Former minister
  • Oladipo Agboluaje – Actor
  • Lota Chukwu – Nigerian actress
  • Omoni Oboli – Nigerian actress, film director, and producer
  • Lilian Imuetinyan Salami – Vice-Chancellor, the University of Benin

After all said and done, it can be agreed upon that the afore-listed universities have no doubt impacted so much in Nigeria’s socio-economic growth and development with the sterling quality of education it has issued out across the country. This is often seen in the quality of graduates they have produced over the years.

Going by this, we will not be out of place to say that any university that is great is known by the level of prominent and influential figures it has produced across the country.  

Recap Of the List Of Best Universities in Nigeria

  1. University of Ibadan(UI)
  2. University of Lagos (UNILAG)
  3. Covenant University
  4. University of Ilorin (UNI ILORIN)
  5. University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN)
  6. Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)
  7. Federal University of Technology Minna (FUT MINNA)
  8. Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria
  9. Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB)
  10. University of Benin (UNIBEN)


What Is The No 1 University in Nigeria?

The University of Ibadan (UI) is regarded as the No best university in Nigeria. The university is also the oldest and the first full-fledged university in Nigeria founded way back in 1948.

What Is The No 1 Private University in Nigeria?

Covenant University is the No 1 private university in Nigeria. Covenant University, a private university in Ota, Ogun State was founded by David Oyedepo and opened its doors on October 21, 2002.

Which University is The Best In Africa According to Latest Ranking

The University of Cape Town, South Africa is the best university in Africa according to the 2024 ranking.

What Are the Top 5 Universities In Nigeria?

  • University of Ibadan
  • Covenant University
  • University of Lagos
  • University of Illorin
  •  University of Nigeria, Nsukka


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