The Senate has approved the establishment of the Federal University of Technology and Environmental Sciences in Iyin-Ekiti to address the knowledge deficit in technology and environmental sciences.
The Senate gave the approval after a bill seeking the establishment of the new tertiary institution was extensively debated and unanimously ratified at its plenary in Abuja.
The Senate referred the bill to its Committee on Tertiary Institutions and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) for further legislation and other considerations.
The bill, sponsored by the Leader of the Senate, Opeyemi Bamidele, elicited overwhelming support from 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.
First initiated in the ninth National Assembly, the bill was brought back for consideration at the Senate Chambers on October 17, 2023, with a specific focus on addressing knowledge deficit gaps in technology and environmental sciences.
Explaining its significance at the plenary, Bamidele specifically observed that the bill’s passage into law would develop world-class technologists and human resources for exponential economic growth and sustainable development.
Bamidele 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 our nation’s economy by providing technical and management expertise at the highest level.”
“The university, when 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 specialisation,” he added.
Also at the plenary, 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, supported the establishment of the bill.
Lawan, a former Senate President, said the bill was initiated in the ninth National Assembly, scaled through the second reading and considered at the public hearing and the report of the committee adopted.
He however said 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.
Highlighting the importance of the proposed university, he said “when we establish a new institution, it should be an institution that will provide education and enlightenment for the 21st century development agenda.”
On his part, Umeh stated: “In this country, time has come when we shall be establishing specialised universities to pursue certain areas and fields of knowledge. When we produce graduates from this university, we will be thinking of graduates with excellent knowledge.”
Also, Dickson emphasised the significance of quality education for national development, observing that there could not be too many universities citing the population of Nigeria currently standing at 225,527,644 and annually growing at 2.78 per cent according to the data obtained from the United Nations.
Dickson, a former Bayelsa State Governor, said investment in education and human capital development, is the only investment that is transgenerational in terms of benefits, positive effects on the society and in terms of human capital development.