BY BODE GBADEBO, Abuja –
The need to address educational needs and bring about economic transformation for the people of Kogi State and the nation at large has informed the decision of the Senate to pass into law, the Bill seeking the upgrade of the College of Agriculture, Kabba, to a full-fledged university.
It will be recalled that the Bill seeking the establishment of the Federal University of Agriculture Kabba in Kogi State was read for the second time on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 on the floor of the Senate and was consequently referred to the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and Tetfund for further legislative inputs.
The Senate had on Thursday read the Bill, sponsored by Senator Dino Melaye, for the third time and subsequently passed it into law, following the unanimous adoption of the recommendations contained in the report of the Committee.
“It will be a bold step that will not only address the educational needs of the populace of Kabba and its environs, but also meet the plan of the Federal Government to diversify the country’s economy through the promotion of agriculture,” the Senate Committee said.
According to the details of the committe’s report obtained at the weekend, the committee chaired by Senator Barau Jibrin (APC, Kano) held a Public Hearing on Thursday, July 20, 2017 in order to get public and stakeholders’ views on the Bill and there was consensus on the intentions of the Bill among participants at the hearing.
Meanwhile, while reacting to the passage of the Bill, the sponsor and Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, in a statement on Sunday, revealed that he will redouble his efforts by personally visiting President Muhammadu Buhari in order to lobby the latter to assent the Bill for immediate takeoff of the specialised university.
“It is my greatest priority and I thank God. I thank the leadership of the Senate and the entire Senate for giving the Bill an expedited passage. Okun Elite should be ready as I’m planning a courtesy call on Mr. President to lobby for assent of the Bill.
The university is long overdue as education is our strongest industry in Okunland. I promise to only continue to do those things that will bring development to the western part of Kogi State. The battle to develop the West is a battle of no retreat no surrender,” Melaye said.
The existing College of Agriculture, Kabba was established in 1962 by the then Government of Northern Region and transferred to the Institute of Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in April, 1968.
The college is a well-established institution with enough infrastructure to support the immediate takeoff of the new university.
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