The Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and Tertiary Education Trust Fund, (TETFUND), on Thursday, continued with the legislative process for the upgrade of the Yaba College of Technology and Federal Polytechnic Ilaro, to Universities of Technology.
In the same vein, the Senate and other stakeholders in the tertiary education sector backed the move for the upgrade of the Nigeria French Language Village in Ajara Badagry, Lagos State to an Inter-University Centre for French Language Studies.
At a public hearing at the instance of the Committee led by Senator representing Katsina North, Ahmad Baba – Kaita, Senator representing Lagos West, Solomon Olamilekan Adeola who incidentally is the sponsor of the three bills, said the need to expand admission spaces in public institutions informed his sponsorship of the bills.
The bills were (1) “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of the Federal University of Technology, Yaba; and for other matters connected therewith” (SB. 85) 2021; (2) “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of the Federal University of Technology, Ilaro; to Make Comprehensive Provisions for its due Management and Administration and for Other Matters Connected therewith” (SB. 84) 2021 and (3) “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of the Nigerian French Language Village as an inter-university Centre for French Studies and for Other Matters Connected therewith (58.483).”
He said with the massive explosion in population, there must be a proactive initiative to expand spaces in our Institutions for the teeming youths.
He said: “It is elementary to state that all aspects of development in the modern world are premised on the level of education obtainable in the society.
“With the massive explosion in our population estimated at over 200 million and the youthful segment consisting of over half of that figure, there is no doubt that the number and available admission spaces in our existing universities are quite limited in absorbing the number of our people desiring higher education at the university level.
“With about 170 public and private universities in Nigeria with a capacity for about 700,000 students at any point in time, it is clear that in Nigeria we are yet to get to the point where we have enough admission spaces in universities for our youths in Nigeria.
“The need to expand opportunities for our teeming youth in gaining admission into universities for good education, particularly technology-based education, informed my sponsorship of the bills to upgrade two major existing polytechnics to full-blown universities of technology.”
He submitted that the Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos State proposed to be upgraded to Federal University of Technology, Yaba is one of the oldest tertiary educational institution in Nigeria having been established in 1947.
“The need for the establishment of this university of technology is informed mostly by historical imperatives as well as the expansion and development of the Yaba College of Technology since its establishment in 1947 as a successor to the Yaba Higher College way back during the colonial era. Indeed, it is indisputable that Yaba College of Technology is the ‘cradle of higher education in Nigeria.’
“The mandate of the school is to provide full-time and part-time courses of instruction and training in technology, applied science, commerce, management and in such other fields of applied learning relevant to the needs of the development of Nigeria in the areas of industrial and agricultural production and distribution; and for research in the development and adaptation of techniques.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Finance equally made a similar case for the upgrade of Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro to a Federal University of Technology, “The imperative for the establishment of this university of technology is informed mostly by the expansion and development of the Polytechnic from its inception in 1979, some 42 years ago.
“The institution presently has ample latitude for a massive expansion in term of land space spanning several square kilometres of land.
“It is also worthy of note that the Polytechnic, like Yaba College of Technology, has many infrastructural facilities, which many state-owned universities and privately-owned universities cannot boast of on the bill on the establishment of Nigeria French Language Village, Ajara, Badagry, Lagos State, as an Inter-University Centre for French Language Studies, Senator Adeola noted that its passage and eventual enactment into law will cure the anomaly of the institution’s existence in Nigeria since 1991 (29 years) without legislation.”