The Senate has expressed commitment towards addressing infrastructure decay in tertiary institutions across the country.
Sen.Ahmed Kaita, Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and Tetfund gave the assurance on Monday in Abuja at the opening of a public hearing on four bills in the education sector.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the public hearing was organised by the Committee towards enriching the bills through inputs from stakeholders in the sector.
The bills included -A bill for an Act to abolish and prohibit discrimination between first decree and Higher National Diplomas (HND) holders for the purpose of employment in Nigeria.
A Bill for an Act to eetablish Federal University of Agriculture, Kabba, Kogi.
A Bill for an Act to establish the Steel University Ajaokuta and Other Matters Connected.
A Bill for an Act to establish the Federal University of Education ,Ankpa to take over assets and liabilities including staff of Kogi State College of Education, Ankpa.
Kaita said the public hearing was designed to aggregate stakeholders’ opinion for legislations on the bills.
He said that the committee did not receive any opposing memorandum on the bill for an act to abolish and prohibit descrimination between first decree and HND holders.
He assured that the senate would do its best to ensure passage of the bill.
Sponsor of the bill for an act to establish federal university of agriculture, Kabba,Kogi, Sen. Smart Adeyemi (APC- Kogi) said the public hearing was to articulate the need to upgrade the Kabba College of Agriculture to a full-fledged University.
He said the college was established in 1964 to meet the man-power needs of the agricultural sector of the Northern Nigeria.
He, however, said in 1971, the college was handed over to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
“Today the college runs three accredited programmes at the national diploma level, certificate courses and several short courses for farmers and retirees who want to go into farming.
“With over 400 hectares of land donated by the Kabba community which handed over 60 per cent of the land years ago, only 20 per cent of the land has been utilised,with over 200 hectares of land available for animal husbandry and horticulture faculties,” he said.
Adeyemi said there was need to diversify the economy by paying attention to the development of the agricultural sector.
“It is therefore not out of place for Nigeria to have at least two federal university of agriculture in each of the geo-political zones of the federation.
“This will help to improve our foreign exchange earnings and provide jobs for millions of Nigerian youths, as Agriculture remains our hope for a robust economy, job creation and wealth generation.
“The college of agriculture campus in Kabba which we are asking for its upgrade to a full-fledged university, has facilities which are currently under-utilised.
“When upgraded to a full-fledged university, the by-product will be a new generation of educated farmers that will guarantee self sufficiency in food, reduced rate of poverty and provide self employed graduates , “Adeyemi said.(NA