Catholic University in Nigeria among New Private Institutions Approved by Government

Peter University, Achina-Onneh, Anambra State, Nigeria. Credit: Peter University, Achina-Onneh/Facebook

Peter University, Achina/Onneh under the joint ownership of the Catholic Dioceses of Awka and Ekwulobia in Nigeria is among the 12 new private universities approved by the country’s federal government to operate as a higher learning institution in the West African country.

In a Saturday, April 9 report, the chairman of the Planning and Implementation Committee (PIC) that spearheaded the construction of the university,  Fr. Emmanuel Umezinwa confirmed the news of the approval of the Catholic university.

“The Director, DEPU (Directorate for the Establishment of Private Universities) called me at exactly 17: 10pm today, (Wednesday, April 6), to confirm and congratulate all of us; the Bishops of Awka and Ekwulobia Dioceses, the PIC, and the faithful people of the two dioceses, on the approval and license granted today by the Federal Executive Council for the take-off of our Peter University, Achina/ Onneh. To God be the Glory.” Fr. Umezimwa said.

Reacting to the news, Bishop Paulinus Ezeokafor of the Catholic Diocese of Awka said that the approval of the Catholic university is not only a development but also the best thing to ever happen to Awka, Ekwulobia Dioceses.

Bishop Ezeokafor who was speaking at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral of his Episcopal See said that he was delighted to receive the news, adding that the journey towards the approval was not easy as a lot of resources had been invested in it.


The Nigerian Bishop congratulated those who supported the university project financially and materially up to its completion, adding that the project is dear to him.

“We were at Peter University having a meeting with the Works Committee only for me to be informed that approval had been granted. It was as if they knew we were there. We were there putting things in order in anticipation of the big news. No one thought that the news would come the way it came. We are very grateful,” the Local Ordinary of the Catholic Diocese of Awka said.

He added, “It has been a journey of intense struggle. I want to specifically thank all those who assisted in one way or the other in ensuring that the project became a reality. I am very happy for the approval. People invested their professional expertise, lands and contacts.”

Bishop Ezeokafor went on to say, “My profound gratitude to all of you who have been working over the years to see to the building of the university and its approval.”

He said that with the approval of the institution, the next step would be to focus on ensuring that “all-encompassing education is bequeathed to the students.”

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The Chancellor of the Diocese of Ekwulobia, Fr Law Nwankwo, said that students from the Southeast region of the country will now have an opportunity to access quality education.

Fr. Nwankwo expressed happiness at the approval of the university saying, “What has happened is not the end but only the beginning where the two Dioceses will offer service to the community through the institution.”

Bishop Jonas Benson Okoye of the Catholic diocese of Nnewi said that the approval was a confirmation of a dream. He said that it took close to 10 years to set the structure of the university.

Bishop Okoye disclosed that the university, which is slated to start operation "soon" had been advised by the country’s National Universities Commission (NUC) to prioritize the School of Nursing and the Faculty of Law.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.