The Senate approved that a Federal University of Technology and Environmental Sciences in Iyin-Ekiti Kingdom, Ekiti State should be established with a mission to address knowledge deficit in the fields of technology and environmental sciences. The upper legislative chamber gave its approval after a bill seeking the establishment of the new tertiary institution was extensively debated and unanimously ratified at the plenary at the Senate Chamber in Abuja. The Senate, which was presided over by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Barau Jubrin, subsequently referred the bill to its Committee on Tertiary Institutions and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) for further legislation and other considerations.
Consequently, the bill, which the Leader of the Senate Senator Opeyemi Bamidele sponsored, elicited overwhelming support of the senators across all political divides, attesting its significance to developing world-class technologists and human resources that would sustainably manage the country’s economy. It was first initiated in the ninth National Assembly and then brought back for consideration at the Senate Chambers on October 17, 2023 with specific focus on addressing knowledge deficit gaps in the fields of technology and environmental sciences.
Objectives of the university include developing world-class technologists.
While explaining its significance at the plenary, Senator Bamidele specifically observed that the passage of the bill into law would develop world-class technologists as well as human resources for exponential economic growth and sustainable development. He further explained that the purpose of the bill is to create more access to university education in view of a large number of qualified candidates, who are annually stranded in their attempts to gain admission into the universities of their choice across the federation.
He noted that the core objectives of the university are, first and foremost, to set up an ultra-modern institution that will develop world-class technologists as well as human resources that can sustainably manage the nation’s economy by providing technical and management expertise at the highest level. The university, when it is fully established as proposed, will definitely advance knowledge through edge-cutting research and nurture unique technological innovation, entrepreneurship and wealth management in its core areas of specialization.
Majority of lawmakers in the chamber supported the bill.
Also at the plenary, Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Barau Jubrin; Chairman, Senate Committee on Defence, Senator Ahmed Lawan; Chairman, Committee on Navy, Senator Gbenga Daniel; Chairman, Senate Committee on the Environment, Senator Seriake Dickson; Chairman, Senate Committee on National Planning and Economic Affairs, Senator Abdul Ningi and Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Affairs, Senator Victor Umeh, threw their weight behind the establishment of the bill. As he explained how the bill came to be, Lawan, former President of the Senate, observed that the committee conference of the Senate and House of Representatives could not be set up before the end of the ninth National Assembly hence necessitating the re-initiation of the bill for legislative consideration.
Then, he explained that the bill is innovative and worthwhile because technology and environmental sciences are very important and indeed crucial for every country worldwide, especially in the 21st century, to achieve development in all ramifications. He said that if the country is to develop like most developed countries worldwide, the country has to move away from being extremely traditional. “We cannot continue with the conventional and traditional approach to education, especially tertiary education,” he said.
What Nigerian schools erroneously focuses on.
Further, he noted that outdated courses are still being taught in Nigerian schools, even in universities. As this is the 21st century, he remarked that the country must do things befitting the 21st century. “Human beings, more appropriately human resources, should be the source of developing our country,” he said. According to him, Nigeria has focused on oil and gas from the 1950s to date but still grappling with poverty, unemployment and other social challenges. Whereas, some countries have nothing, but human beings, and yet, they have recorded tremendous progress in nearly all sectors of their economies. He referenced Singapore as a good example.
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