The establishment of a Federal University of Technology in Southern Kaduna by law has reached and advanced stage in the Senate, said Senator Danjuma La’ah (PDP, Kaduna South).
The Senator who was fielding questions from newsmen at Kaduna International Airport said he was the sponsor of the Bill in 2017 and that it had already scaled through 2nd reading at the red chamber.
He said: “It is true that Southern Kaduna, though has the most educated and professionals people in Kaduna state has suffered neglect in terms of building tertiary institutions in the area. This is both for the Federal and State government. It is also true that Southern Kaduna which has the highest workforce both in the state and Federal government has no single Federal institution worth mentioning. That is if you compare it with over twenty Federal owned bodies in Kaduna and Zaria alone. The margin is too wide.
“It is based on this, and through the cooperation and understanding of my two other Senators from Kaduna state that I decided to sponsor a bill that will create another University for Nigerians, but will be cited in Manchok,” he told reporters.
“There is a small and little known Federal School of Statistics, Manchok. The School has a very large land. It is the School that will be converted. The community is even willing to negotiate more lands with the Federal government,” he said.
Manchok is in Kaura Local Government Area (LGA) in Southern part of Kaduna state.
According to him, the bill is a simple one: “It is called, ‘A Bill For the Establishment of the Federal University of Technology, Manchock (SB. 538) 2017’. I am sure some of you have read about it.
“You can find out from your colleagues at the National Assembly (Senate) that when the Bill came for first Hearing, I led the debate on the floor of the Senate on the 25th July 2017, because I am the one that sponsored the bill. It went smoothly, because every Senator understands how much we deserve to have a University. I am happy to note that party affiliation differences did not arise on this bill. The rest of Nigeria has sympathy for us when it comes to this.
“I am happy to also say that on the 6th of February 2018, the Bill scaled through Second Reading. So it is on course,” he said.
Asked what next was left, he said, “the Bill has been send to the Senate Committee on Tertiary Education. It is this Committee that will organise a Public Hearing on it. After the Public Hearing, the bill will be brought for the 3rd and final Hearing, then we in the Senate will be done with it.
“I want to assure you that the Public Hearing is on course.”
Asked when the school will be physically built, he said, “The bill is also receiving same attention and goodwill at the House of Representatives. You know that we also have our members both from Southern Kaduna and the rest parts of the state who are passionate about this matter also. It is above party politics. So, we should be able to harmonise the two and come up with the clean law in a two months or three. If it is passed, we are confident it will get a presidential assent. The President should understand our plight on this matter. It would then no longer be a choice, but mandatory that the Federal Ministry of Education builds the University. I don’t want to make much noise for now, but I want to say that all that needs be done is being done,” he said.
“Remember that I did not want to make noise when I was pursuing the Police Primary and Secondary Schools. People woke up and discover that God has blessed us with the two schools. One is in Tum, the other in Kafanchan. They are all Federal Government owned.
“I want to beg you pressmen to please stop harassing me over this School from now. All we need is your prayers,” he said.