Top 10 Best Private Universities in Nigeria and their Fees

The 10 best private universities in Nigeria are Covenant University, Afe Babalola University, Godfrey Okoye University, Babcock University, Redeemer’s University, Nile University, Bowen University, Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Igbinedion University, and Bells University of Technology.

Nigeria has some of the best private universities in Africa. The rising demand for quality university degrees has led to a surge in the number of private universities in the country. Until 1999, only government-owned universities existed in Nigeria. Babcock University,  Madonna University, and Igbinedion University became the first three private universities to begin accepting students in 1999.

Today, there are over 140 private universities in the country, with over 79 receiving licenses from the NUC between 1991 and 2020. Despite their growing rate, some of these private universities have continued to mark themselves out for academic greatness.

Best Private Universities in Nigeria and Their Fees

1. Covenant University

  • Year Founded: 2002
  • Founder: David Oyedepo, Owner of the Living Faith Church
  • Location: Ota, Ogun State

Located in the suburban setting of the small city of Ota, Ogun State, Covenant University is a non-profit private University formally affiliated with the Christian-Pentecostal religion and is officially recognized by the National Universities Commission of Nigeria (NUC) as a middle-size coeducational higher education institution.

The Institution was founded on October 21, 2002, by David Oyedepo, who is also the university’s Chancellor. The university has 4 colleges – the College of Leadership Development, the College of Science and Technology, and the College of Engineering. It also runs a selective admission policy based on entrance examinations. The acceptance rate range is 40-49%, making this Nigerian higher education organization an averagely selective institution. International applicants are eligible to apply for enrollment.

CU provides several academic and non-academic facilities and services to students, including a library, housing, sports facilities, study abroad and exchange programs, as well as administrative services. Its beautiful buildings and welcoming learning environment have helped it rank as one of the best private universities in Nigeria.

Covenant University is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the Association of African Universities. The institution’s tuition fee ranges from ₦937,500 to ₦1,002,500, making it one of the most expensive private Universities in Nigeria.

2. Afe Babalola University

  • Year Founded: 2009
  • Founder: Afe Babalola
  • Location: Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State

Afe Babalola University is a non-profit private higher education institution founded by renowned Lawyer Afe Babalola in the year 2009. It operates a College System: College of Engineering, College of Social Management, College of Engineering, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, College of Law. The medium-sized coeducational Nigerian higher education institution offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees, such as bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees in several areas of study.

The tuition fee at Afe Babalola University is about N1,000,000. The institution has a well-equipped teaching hospital that has helped the institution rank highly among universities in Nigeria. The university is also the first and only University in Nigeria to fully commence its academic activities on its permanent site with all the facilities in place within a space of eight (8) months. It is famous for inculcating discipline, industry, determination, service, integrity, sound education, and quality leadership in its students.

The private institution is ranked as the sixth-best university in Nigeria, with a grand vision to lead education reform in Nigeria by providing a world-class educational center of excellence in academics, character, sports, and vocational development. Its entrepreneurship center develops high-quality entrepreneurial skills in students, which enables them to become Job creators as opposed to job seekers in Nigeria. Its language center trains students in at least one local and one foreign language apart from the English language

3. Godfrey Okoye University

  • Year Founded: 2009
  • Founder: Very Reverend Father Professor Dr. Christian Anieke
  • Location: Ugwuomu-Nike, Enugu State

Godfrey Okoye University is another private university making our list of the best private universities in Nigeria. The 14 year-old coeducational Nigerian higher education institution formally affiliated with the Christian-Catholic religion was founded by the Very Reverend Father Professor Dr. Christian Anieke for the Catholic Diocese of Enugu.

GOU is the first university owned by a Catholic Diocese in Africa. It provides several academic and non-academic facilities and services to students, including a library, housing, sports facilities, financial aid and/or scholarships, study abroad and exchange programs, online courses, and distance learning opportunities, as well as administrative services. Tuition fees at Godfrey Okoye University range from N400,000 to N600,000.

4. Babcock University

  • Year Founded: 1999
  • Founder: Seventh-Day Adventist Church
  • Location: Ilisan Remo, Ogun state

Established in 1999, Babcock University is one of Nigeria’s famous private Universities. The University is the first accredited private university in Nigeria, and it is famous for having one of the best innovative methods of management, with over 70% of its students having good moral standards. This academic institution has continued to introduce effective and, most times, welcomed policies that have helped to improve the standard of the Institution and its students.

Babcock University is owned by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. It was named after David C. Babcock, an American missionary who started the work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nigeria. The institution has a large number of students, about 10,000, studying in its six faculties of computing and engineering sciences, education and humanities, law and security studies, management sciences, public and allied health, and science and technology. Tuition fees at Babcock University differ per course of study, but they range from N500,000 to N1 million.

5. Redeemer’s University

  • Year Founded: 2005
  • Founder: Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Owner of Redeemed Christian Church
  • Location: Ede, Osun State

Redeemer’s University, also known as (RU) is one of the most respected academic institutions in Nigeria, and just as you thought, it’s owned by the Redeemed Christian Church of God, and it is the 5th best private university in Nigeria. The University has its temporary location area at the Redemption Camp, 46 km Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, while its permanent location is situated in Ede, Osun State. It also has branch campuses in Osogbo, Ilesha, Ile-Ife, Iwo, Ikire, and Ipetumodu.

One thing that made the academic institution stand out is its current location and its highly respected Teachers teaching at the school. The institution is famous for its many achievements in the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases. It provided the first accurate diagnosis of Ebola cases in Sierra Leone and Nigeria in the 2014 EVD outbreak; Discovered two highly novel divergent rhabdovirus Ekpoma in Nigeria; Provided tools and training for disease diagnosis, sequencing bioinformatics, etc. Its tuition fee ranges from N900,000 to N1.5 million.

6. Nile University of Nigeria

  • Year Founded: 2009
  • Location: Abuja

Nile University is a private University that is located in the city of Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory. The small-sized coeducational Nigerian higher education institution is recognized by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and is a part of the Honoris United Universities Network. It was established to provide high-quality tertiary education for the country’s ever-increasing number of secondary school leavers.

At the time of its formation, Nile University had three faculties (Arts & Social Sciences, Engineering, and Natural & Applied Sciences) and 93 students. But as it grew and thrived over the years, the need to provide its high-quality instruction at a higher level became increasingly apparent.

Currently, Nile University has over 9,000 students (undergraduate and postgraduate), 43 undergraduate programs across eight faculties, and 53 postgraduate programs across five faculties. Tuition fee at Nile University varies and are dependent on what course you, a candidate, hopes to study. However, the average price paid at the University is $1.5million

7. Bowen University

  • Year Founded: 2001
  • Founder: Nigerian Baptist Convention
  • Location: Iwo, Osun State

Founded on 17 July 2001, Bowen University is a private university owned by the Nigerian Baptist Convention, and it is located in Iwo, Osun State. The university is well respected for its core values, which include integrity, academic excellence, professionalism, character, Godliness, and leadership. The institution has a student capacity of over 20,000 and a staff capacity of 5000. In 2009, the NUC approved degree programs in Medicine (MBBS), Anatomy (B.Sc), and Physiology (B.Sc) into the university, and in 2011, Bowen University received approvals to begin the Faculty of Humanities and Faculty of Law.

Currently, the university operates a Modified Collegiate System with Seven (7) fully operational colleges viz College of Postgraduate Studies, College of Computing and Communication Studies, College of Health Sciences, College of Liberal Studies, College of Law, College of Agriculture, Engineering and Sciences and College of Social and Management Sciences. Its years of academic success have placed it among the best private universities in Nigeria.

The tuition fee at Bowen University differs per course, but generally, it ranges from N500,000 to N1.5 million. However, students studying medicine and surgery pay as high as N2 million in tuition fees.

8. Joseph Ayo Babalola University

  • Year Founded: 2006
  • Founder: Christ Apostolic Church (CAC)
  • Location: Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State

Joseph Ayo Babalola University is a private institution that is located in the suburban setting of the small city of Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State, and it was established in the year 2006. The small-size coeducational Nigerian higher institution is formally affiliated with the Christian-Pentecostal religion and is owned by the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) and named after the church’s spiritual leader.

As a Christian-owned private University, Joseph Ayo Babalola University has about 4,000 students studying in its 7 faculties – Natural Sciences and Social Sciences, Management Sciences, Humanities, Law, Agricultural Sciences, and Environmental Sciences. JABU awards degrees for undergraduates and postgraduate studies for educational and religious studies. One of the many reasons behind its fame is its provision of tuition support and the development of moral values. First entrepreneurial university in Nigeria.

Tuition fees at Joseph Ayo Babalola University school fees range from N500,000 – N650,000. The university also provides accommodation for its students and other infrastructure like a library and good college buildings.

9. Igbinedion University

  • Year Founded: 1999
  • Founder: Gabriel Igbinedion (Philanthropist and Chief in Benin)
  • Location: Okada, Edo State

Located in Ovia North-East Local Government Area, Edo State, Igbinedion University is one of the first private Universities established in Nigeria. The university was established alongside Babcock University, Igbinedion University, and Madonna University, but it is the first licensed private University in the country.

Established in the year 1999, Igbinedion University has a student capacity of 5,000 and is also the first Private University to produce medical doctors in Sub-Saharan Africa. The university was established in response to a need for high-quality tertiary education that aligns with global standards. It takes pride in its commitment to maintaining high academic standards. Some of the courses it offers include Law, Engineering, Arts and Social Science, Medicine, Business and Management Studies, Pharmacy, Medicine, and Natural and Applied Sciences.

Igbinedion University school fees range from N500,000 to N800,000, which is quite fair compared to a number of private universities in the country. The institution has its mission to include enhancing human advancement, prosperity, and public welfare through teaching, research, and outreach programs that encourage applications of knowledge, promote discipline and emphasize entrepreneurship, and manage resources effectively to achieve these aims.

10. Bells University of Technology

  • Year Founded: 2004
  • Founder: Olusegun Obasanjo
  • Location: Ota, Ogun State

Bells University of Technology is the first private university of technology. The University was formerly known as Bellstech, and it was founded in Ogun State in 2004 but received its operating license on June 9, 2005. The University was established by The Bells Educational Foundation, which is owned by Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria.

Bells University is committed to the development and transformation of society through environment-friendly technologies and other innovations, and it is a great choice for students who are looking for a high-quality education in a private university setting. The university is promoting academic excellence through well-developed pedagogical and quantitative research.

It also provides an opportunity for school leavers to undergo a residential 1-year (JUPEB) foundation program. This is why it is one of the best private universities in Nigeria. Tuition fees at Bells University of Technology differ per course, but it range from N600,000 to N700,000 for both the new and returning students. The university has three colleges: College of Engineering & Environmental Sciences, College of Natural & Applied Sciences and College of Management Sciences


1. What was the First Private University in Nigeria?

Igbenedion University, Okada, is the first private University established in Nigeria. The university was founded on 10 May 1999 by Sir Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion CFR, and it carries a certificate of approval, No. 001, as granted by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

2. Which Private University has the Highest School Fees in Nigeria?

The most expensive private university to study in Nigeria is the Pan-Atlantic University, which was originally the Lagos Business School. Tuition fees at the institution stand at a whooping sum of 2.5 Million naira for undergraduates.

3. What is the Cheapest Private University in Nigeria?

Obong University is the cheapest private University in Nigeria, with tuition fees that range from N170,000 to N300,000. The University is located in Obong Ntak, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

4. Which State has the Most Private Universities in Nigeria?

An analysis of the NUC data shows that Ogun State has the highest number of accredited private Universities in Nigeria. The state has a total of 13 private universities.


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