By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Senate on Tuesday passed second reading the bill for an Act to establish Federal University, Gashua in Yobe State.
Also passed for the second reading was the bill for the establishment of Federal University, Wukari in Taraba state.
The bills are to give legal framework to aid the smooth running of the two universities that had already commenced academic activities.
While the Federal University of Wukari was founded in 2011, that of Gashua came into existence in 2013.
The two bills for the Federal Universities of Gashua and Wukari were sponsored by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abubakar Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi) and Deputy Senate Minority Leader, Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP, Taraba) respectively.
In their separate lead debates, the sponsors said the establishment of the two universities was informed by the need to create more access to university education.
“This has become imperative in view of the large number of qualified candidates who are annually stranded in their failed attempts in gaining admission into university education in the North East,” they said.
The objectives of the universities, they said include, “encouraging the advancement of learning and promoting scholarship”.
Bwacha recalled that Federal University, Wukari was approved by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011 along eight other universities across the six geo political zones.
He explained that bills passed for the establishment of the universities were transmitted to the former President but that of Federal University, Wukari was omitted at the point of assent.
The bill, he said was again passed by the 8th National Assembly, but was however returned by the President with some observations, which he said had been addressed in the new bill.
Also on Tuesday, the Senate passed for second reading a bill for the national land drainage, flood control and other related matters.
Leading a debate on the bill, its sponsor, Senator Sani Musa (APC, Niger East) said it was essentially to promote sustainable development through the retention and restoration of natural flood plains and watercourses as a form of flood alleviation.