Senate commits to addressing rot in education sector

ABUJA – The Senate on Thursday says it is committed to rejuvenating the deplorable state of infrastructure, teaching and learning conditions in tertiary institutions using legislations.

Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Sen. Sandy Onor (PDP Cross-River), gave the pledge at a public hearing and presentation of memoranda on three Bills for the education sector.

The committee’s vice-chairman was representing its chairman, Sen. Babba Kaita (APC-Katsina).

She said the rejuvenation of the education sector would make provide enormous benefits for youths seeking knowledge.

She said the move to upgrade the Yaba College of Technology and Ilaro Polytechnic to full-fledged universities of technologies would serve as pathway for affordable education resource centres of excellence.

She added that the upgrade of the schools would also provide employment opportunities for the host communities and other qualified Nigerians.

According to Onor, the upgrade into federal universities would provide a hub for cutting-edge research and learning that would encompass multi-disciplinary approaches, knowledge acquisitions and dissemination.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the three Bills were sponsored by Sen. Solomon Adeola (APC-Lagos.)

They are:

A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of the Federal University of Technology, Yaba, and a Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of the Federal University of Technology, Ilaro, Ogun State.

The third is a Bill for an Act to provide for the Establishment of the Nigerian French Language School as an inter-university Centre for French Studies.

Sen. Adeola said at the presentation that there was need to expand opportunities for Nigeria’s teeming youths to gain admission into universities, particularly technology-based education.

This, he said, informed his sponsorship of the Bills to upgrade two major existing polytechnics to full-blown universities of technology.

On conversion of the Yaba College of Technology, Adeola said it would go a long way in addressing the challenge of huge demand for requisite educational institution for the mega city of Lagos.

He said the Bill for the upgrade of the Federal Polytechnic Ilaro to Federal University of Technology was informed by the expansion and development of the polytechnic since its inception in 1979.

According to him, its upgrade would help to balance the spread of educational infrastructure in the state and in other parts of the country.

On the Bill for establishment of the Nigeria French Language Village in Ajara, Badagry, Lagos State as an inter-university centre, he said it would go a long way to address the French language deficiency in Nigerian professionals.

Mr. Nureni Alabi, Vice-Chairman, Yaba College of Technology Alumni Association said graduates of the institution would become more grounded in technology, applied science, Information and Communication Technology if the Bill becomes law.

This, he said, was relevant to the needs of development of Nigeria on industrial and agricultural production, research and high-tech development.

“The Federal University of Technology, Yaba, will help to conserve the much-needed foreign exchange that is stupendously spent on education tourism.

“The Federal University of Technology, Yaba, will help to give an open license to run all technical and technology-based courses that will be beneficial to the citizens in this contemporary times,’’ he said.

Source: The Nigerian Observer