The Senate yesterday endorsed the passage of bills establishing four federal universities.
The universities include, Federal university of Dutsin-ma, Federal university of Uyo, Federal university of Kashere and federal university of Lafia, Nasarawa state.
However the Senate had to back-date the establishment of the University of Uyo which had been in existence since 1992 in order to validate its
The passage of the bills was sequel to the report of the committee on Education led by Senator Uche Chukwumerije on the establishment of four universities in the country.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who presided at plenary Commenting on the “expeditious manner of its consideration”, congratulated the committee.
Senators who spoke however spoke on the dwindling state of teaching, learning and research in federal universities as they called on the Federal Government to provide adequate funding for all federal universities.
Briefing newsmen after plenary, Senator Ita Enang said he had to appeal to the senate to back date the establishment of the university of Uyo to 1992 when it was established by the General Ibrahim Babangida administration so that the institution will have a legal backing.
Senator Enang further noted that the process will also validate all the degrees awarded from 1992 till date.
He said “There was no establishment instrument by law for the university of Uyo.I want to thank the Senate for agreeing to allow the commencement date of the law to be January 1, 1992, so as to validate all matters, including contractual agreements and degrees obtained.”
Also, a bill to establish the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Regulatory Commission and for Other Matters Connected Therewith 2012, was withdrawn by its sponsor Abdul Ningi so that he could sort out the cost effect of the bill.
The bill had come under series of unfavorable response from senators while contributing on the debate on the bill. Senators picked holes in the bill, citing cost implication for establishing a commission that appears to share same responsibility with already existing ones. They also stated that the bill was coming at a time when government was trying to streamline its agencies.
Senator Babajide Omoworare said “the bill amounts to another white elephant project. At this stage that we are thinking of cutting cost, I am of the opinion that there is no need for us to go on with this bill.”
For Senator Nkechi Nwaogu she said “why set up a commission when there is an institute of dispute resolution in existence.
This commission, if established, will be an additional financial burden to an already over-bloated federal government. There is need for the bill to proceed, as it will amount to waste of time and resources. We should strengthen the existing institute.”