By Umar Muhammad Puma
Stakeholders have endorsed the upgrading of Federal College of Horticulture Dadin Kowa in Gombe state to a Federal University of Agriculture.
Speaking in favour of a Bill on this, Prof. Fatima Sawa, Provost of the College expressed support for the establishment of University of Agriculture, Dadin Kowa, more so that the current administration is seeking diversification of the economy thorough agriculture.
She noted the inadequacies of existing universities relative to their capacities to take up admission applications annually, created the need for more universities, adding that over 1.6million candidates seek admission but only about 40% of that number is absorbed.
She said that, the establishment of a new specialized university in Gombe state will not only open up admission spaces for candidates, but would also create additional capacity for absorbing students chased out of schools in neighbouring Borno state due to insurgency.
The House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education on Monday organised a public hearing on Bills seeking to establish 10 different bills to expand and reform the sector.
Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Rep Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe (PDP, Cross River) chided the Federal Ministry of Education and agencies under it for paying lips service to issues bothering the sector.
The member’s comment was in reaction to the absence of the minister of education and ministry officials, as well as critical agencies managing affairs at tertiary education level.
As at the time of filing this report, none of the agencies were represented by any official.
Speaking in favour of the establishment bills, Mainasara Gogo Umar, legal head of the National Commission for Federal Colleges of Education supported the bills seeking the establishment of new federal colleges of education, saying that there are States in Nigeria that are without federal colleges of education.
Gabriel Ethan, supported bills number 9 and number 1, sponsored by Hon. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe from Cross River state who incidentally chaired the hearing, and another lawmaker from Akwa Ibom.
Speaking to journalists after the hearing, sponsor of the bill, Hon. Jarigbe said citing the institution in Ogoja will address the issue of proximity and lack of access to higher education by Ogoja people, adding that the nearest university to the place is in Calabar which is about 5 hours’ drive away.
Of the new federal tertiary institutions proposed by 8 bills, three are universities, to be cited, in Ogoja, Cross River state, Dadinkowa in Gombe state, and Auchi in Edo state.
Others are: two polytechnics in Malumfashi in Kasina state, and another polytechnic in Koko, Delta state; and three colleges of education to be cited in Birni Kudu in Jigawa state, Lissam in Taraba state and Onna in Akwa Ibom state respectively.