Stakeholders in the education sector at a public hearing on Thursday were divided on bills for establishing a new university and college of education.
The public hearing was organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education and Services led by Rep. Aminu Suleiman (APC-Kano) in Abuja.
The hearing was on a bill for an act to provide for the establishment of Federal University of Technology Asaba, Delta and a bill for an act to provide for the establishment of Federal Government of Education, Keana, Nasarawa State.
The sponsor of one of the bill, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta) said that the university, when established will support the effort to address militancy in the south-south region of the country.
He said that it would also address pipe line vandalisation as it will engage the youths meaningfully.
He also said that establishing the university in Delta would also serve as a compensation to residents given the contribution of the state to national economy.
Elumelu said that the government would not be required to spend much funds as there was an existing institution that would be converted into a university.
But Mr Biodun Ogunyemi, President Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), observed that Delta already had three federal universities.
He said that establishing another federal university in the state would trigger agitation for equity in other states of the federation.
According to him, this could fuel the proliferation challenge currently facing the Nigerian university system.
Represented by the Abuja Zonal Coordinator, Mr Theophilus Lagi, Ogunyemi said that creating new universities without addressing the challenges of the existing ones would further undermine the quality of university education in the country.
“As a matter of principle, ASUU is strongly against the proliferation of public universities; it is our considered view that the existing public universities are in dire need for upgrade and revitalisation, not creation of new ones,” he said.
Also, the National President of Senior Staff Association of Universities (SSANU), Mr Samson Ugwoke, said that there was need to address challenges in existing universities.
Represented by the National Financial Secretary, Mr Mohammed Aliyu, Ugwoke said that though “there is need for universities, there are matters that have not been adequately taken care of.
“It is important to bear in mind that proliferation of new universities have consequences that should be attended to.
“For instance, if we have more universities, it will serve a purpose but one of the problems will be staff, manpower is a serious problem in this country.
“The universities established in recent past added more problem to the system rather than taking care of what is on ground.
“It is important to note that mainstreaming new universities into the old ones could assist the situation of the entire universities in Nigeria,” he said.
Representing Keana community, Mr Musa Elayo, a former Minister of State for Justice, said that the community was ready to hand over hectares of lands without demanding for compensation.
He said that Nasarawa is the only state in the country that do not have a Federal College of Education.
“It is fair and equitable that the state gets one federal college of education; there is a very local government secretariat of about 120 offices in addition to so many committee rooms that can serve as classrooms.
“There is also a staff quarters and the committee is ready to give 100,000 hectares of land free of charge without compensation,” he said.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Kayode Olaitan (NAN)https://nnn.ng/stakeholders-differ-on-bills-to-establish-new-varsity-coe/
Be graceful, magnanimous in victory – Okowa charges Obaseki
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has charged his counterpart in Edo, Gov. Godwin Obaseki to be magnanimous and graceful in victory.
Okowa gave the charge when the newly re-elected Gov. Obaseki, led a team on a thank you visit to Okowa in Asaba.
In a statement issued on Wednesday by the media unit of the Delta Government House, Okowa congratulated Obaseki for the victory recorded in the election.
Okowa expressed appreciation to God for the victory, saying that he was inspired to support Obaseki because of his humility and the fact that he was being oppressed.
“I want to congratulate you once again and I feel very excited that you won the election.
“I believe God did this in your life because you have proven to be a very humble man and people who boast too much don’t usually end well.
“I urge you to show lots of magnanimity and grace, but do not allow the lions and the tigers to torment the people again.
“May God give you the enabling grace to fulfill all your campaign promises.
“Your people are expecting a lot from you because of their huge support and I pray that God assist you with more funds to provide for the needs of the people.
“I thank all our party members and the Edo people for their resilience in ensuring your re-election.
“Now that we are all in the same political party, it makes it easier for us to relate with ourselves in this region,” he said.
Okowa also commended the Edo Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, for his loyalty and dedication, describing him as a “supportive, humble and reliable partner’’.
In his remarks, Obaseki said that his re-election will pave way for integration and consolidation in the South-South region.
The Edo Governor was accompanied by his wife, Betsy, Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu and wife, members of the National Assembly from Edo and other top government functionaries.
He said the delegation was in Asaba to thank Okowa and the people of Delta for their support to his re-election.
Obaseki said that the support of Gov. Okowa and Deltans had rekindled the spirit of the old Bendel.
He added that his re-election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would pave the way for regional cooperation and development with all the governors in the South-South belonging to one political party.
“Let me express my profound thanks and appreciation for receiving us. Our purpose of coming is to thank you for the support you gave to us in our re-election.
“The amount of sacrifice you made for us in terms of time and the emotional energy that you put in the election is worthy of appreciation.
“We know that part of your ancestry is Edo, but you went beyond that by adopting two local government areas and supported them to victory.
“We express our gratitude and let you know that by your action you have rekindled the spirit of Bendel.
“On behalf of all of us from Edo, we thank you and let you know that we appreciate all you have done for us and it is our prayer that God will do for you more than you have done for us,” Obaseki said.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Sadiya Hamza
Ministries of Interior, Transportation, others make presentations at 16th virtual FEC meeting
President Muhammadu Buhari is currently presiding over the 16th virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) with some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) expected to make presentations at the meeting.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Ministers of Interior, Ra’uf Aregheshola; Finance, Zainab Ahmed; Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Godswill Okpabio, Niger Delta; Timipre Sylva, Minister of State, Petroleum and Justice, Abubakar Malami are expected to make presentations at the council meeting.
Other departments and agencies expected to make presentations are the Nigeria Correctional Service and the Nigeria Customs Service.
NAN reports that eight ministers including that of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola joined the president at the Council Chamber for the meeting.
The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Folashade Yemi-Esan as well as other cabinet ministers are participating in the meeting from their respective offices in Abuja online.
New NSCDC Commandant assumes duty in Minna
Mr Haruna Zurmi, the new Commandant of the Niger Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has assumed duty in Minna.
The Command’s Public Relations Officer, ASCI Nasiru Abdullahi, said this in a statement on Wednesday in Minna.
According to him, Zurmi takes over from Mr George Edem who has been redeployed to Edo as Commandant.
He said that the new commandant urged officers and men of the command to be resilient in intelligence gathering and to be committed to their duties.
The spokesman said that the new commandant also reiterated his readiness to work round the clock to tackle crimes in the state.
He also called on officers and men of the command to stand up to their responsibilities.
NEMA distributes relief materials to flood victims in Kebbi
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), on Wednesday, distributed relief materials to victims of flood disaster in some major communities of Suru Local Government Area of Kebbi.
Muhammad, who was represented by the Head of Planning, Research and Forecasting Unit, NEMA Sokoto Operations Office, Tukur Abubakar said the relief materials consists of food stuff, building materials and other household items.
He said the items distributed he said are: 349 bags of beans, 349 bags each of rice and guinea corn, 36 kegs of vegetable oil, 58 cartons of seasoning, 29 cartons of tin tomatoes and 18 bags of salt.
Others, he said, are 698 pieces each of mattresses, blankets, mosquito nets and wax prints, 600 bags of cement, 600 bundles of roofing sheets, 70 bags of nails and 140 packets of zinc nails.
Also speaking, the Chairman of SEMA, Alhaji Sani Dododo, attributed this year’s flooding in the state to high rainfall, which led to the discharge of water from Goronyo dam in Sokoto state and Bakolori dam in Zamfara.
Dododo said that the flood resulted to the death of many people and destruction of farmlands and houses in communities along Rima River.
He appealed to the federal government, NGOs and individuals to assist the flood victims. .
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza