Stakeholders in Nigeria’s education sector have commended a move by the House of Representatives to establish two tertiary institutions in Delta and Nasssarawa States.
This was at the public hearing on two bills seeking to establish a University and Federal College of Education in Delta and Nasarawa States.
They are for an Act to provide for the establishment of the Federal University of Technology, Asaba, Delta State, sponsored by the Minority Leader, Mr Ndudi Elemelu and a bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of Federal College of Education, Keana, Nassarawa State, which was sponsored by Mr Abubakar Nalaraba Hassan.
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed who was represented by Mr Ibrahim Yakassai, Director, Corporate Communications, declared his support while making his presentation on the bills.
He said the NUC would always support the establishment of more tertiary institutions considering the annual intake of students across the nation is minimal and the importance of education in national development, stressing the need to support the establishment of more institutions to allow more student enrol in tertiary institutions.
The Senior Staff Association of Universities, SSANU said they were in support of the bills but also said there is a need to upgrade existing tertiary institutions.
SSANU represented by Mohammed Aliyu said funding is important for not only the continued existence of the tertiary institutions but also for the putting needed infrastructure in place for the impartation of quality education across the country.
Also, the Governor of Delta State, Mr Ifeanyin Okowa, at the event applauded the bills especially the one on the University of Technology in Asaba.
Okowa who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Chinedu Ebie, said special schools are established for the purposes for which they have been set up.
“The Maritime University is totally different from the Federal University of Technology. Specialized education is a specialized educational institution. You can’t equate a Maritime University with a University of Technology and vice versa,” Mr Ebie argued.
The Minority Leader Mr Ndudi Elumelu who sponsored the bill said there was a need to fast-track the passage of the bill.
Mr Elumelu said “If there is any school that will face speedy commencement, it will be the federal university of technology, Asaba.
Asaba is friendly. The Delta State government is friendly. They appear towards ensuring that Nigerians are well educated. And that’s what our governor and the government of Delta State are geared towards. Then, we have the best international airport in Nigeria and this will to a large extent ensure that all students that will be coming in even outside the south-south States will have easy way of reaching out to the school without problems.”
On the issue of infrastructure development, Mr Elumelu said “All the roads to the school are tarred. The compound where this federal university of education, technical, is situated is well managed. The residential apartment for the school is available. The classrooms for the school, they are available, even the hostels are there. So, the federal government will have less to spend on the takeoff. It is the easiest that any institution that I have ever seen set up can boast of. And that is why I think that this should be supported and be given easy passage.”
However, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU represented by Prof. Theophilus Lagi, Abuja Zonal Coordinator, warned that establishing new institutions might be desirable, but cognizance must be taken of the issues of funding, qualified personnel and infrastructure development.
Chairman of the House Committee on Tertiary Education, Mr Aminu Suleiman however assured all the invited stakeholders that the committee would do justice to the bill seeking to establish the educational institutions.
Source: Voice of Nigeria