The Senate Committee has expressed commitment to upgrade the Yaba College of Technology and the Federal Polytechnic Ilaro to Universities of Technology.
The committee led by Senator Ahmad Baba-Kaita (APC Katsina North) revealed through a public hearing on the three bills proposing the legislation.
While adding that the move to upgrade the institution and the Nigeria French Language Village in Ajara Badagry, Lagos State to an Inter – University Centre for French Language Studies is to expand opportunities for the country’s teeming youths to gain technology-base knowledge.
In his presentation on the bills at the Public Hearing, the Sponsor, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola stated that,
“Permit me to state clearly that these three bills namely: (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 interuniversity Centre for French Studies and for Other Matters Connected therewith (58.483), are all pursuant of one of my legislative agenda to enhance and develop educational institutions as well as human resources development in Nigeria.
It is elementary to state that all aspects of development in modern world are premised on the level of education obtainable in the society.”
He argued that the country was in dire need of more tertiary institutions that cater for the country’s growing population as current available spaces in existing universities cannot meet national demand for University education.
He said, “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”.
Adeola also explained 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.
According to him, “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 undisputable 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 institution to a large extent has fulfilled this mandate over the years with many of its graduates playing key roles in our industry and the economy.
“The establishment of this university of technology will go a long way in addressing the challenge of the huge demand for requisite educational institution for the Mega City of Lagos State. From all estimates, projections and demographic studies, Lagos State population of over 20 million will continue to grow as a mega city.
“At present, Yaba College of Technology have Schools of (1) Arts, Design &Printing (2) Engineering (3) Environmental Studies, (4) Liberal Studies (5) Management and Business Studies (6) Science (7) Technical Education (8) Technology, with over 50 specialized departments.”, he said.
Making similar presentation on the bill for the upgrade of Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro to a Federal University of Technology, Senator Adeola said : “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 massive expansion in term of land space spanning several square kilometers 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.
“At present it has fully developed Schools of: (1) Applied Science (2) Engineering (3) Environmental Studies, (4) Information &Technology (5) Management Studies with over 40 Departments in different areas of specialization in the schools. The Polytechnic at Ilaro also have a Radio Station serving as training centre as well as public enlightenment for host and neighbouring communities.
“The establishment of Federal University of Technology, Ilaro in Ogun State will also go a long way in balancing the spread of educational infrastructure in the state and other parts of our nation. Among the three Senatorial Districts of Ogun State, the Senatorial District where this proposed University is cited, is the only one without a state or Federal Government owned university with the two other Senatorial Districts having upward of two State/Federal Government owned universities located therein”.
He added that for the bill on the establishment of Nigeria French Language Village, Ajara Badagry, Lagos State, as an Inter-University Centre for French Language Studies, its passage and eventual enactment into law, will cure the anomaly of the institution’s existence in Nigeria since 1991 (29 years) without a legislation.
According to him, in our on-going drive for holistic development, Nigeria cannot afford to lag behind in French Language proficiency among the comity of Nations at the international level.
Virtually all the Stakeholders who attended the public hearing like representative of the National Universities Commission (NUC), management and staffers from the affected Institutions, supported the legislative proposals.