Bills for the establishment of a Federal Polytechnic , Abiriba and the Federal College of Education, Arochukwu both in Abia North of Abia State have been granted first and second readings respectively by the Nigerian Senate on Wednesday.
The educational bills sponsored by the Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu received the legislative assent of the members of the Red Chambers during Wednesday’s plenary following unanimous voice votes in favour of both bills.
Recall that the second passage of the proposed Federal College of Education, Arochukwu Bill comes a day after it passed first reading following its presentation to the Senate by Abia-North Senator , Orji Kalu on Tuesday.
Leading the debate on the Bill , Kalu pointed out that the objective of the Bill is to amend the Federal Colleges of Education Act Cap F8 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, in order to pave way for the establishment of the Federal College of Education Arochukwu, Abia State by upgrading the existing Abia State College of Education (Technical) Arochukwu, to Federal College of Education.
Urging his colleagues to support its second reading the former governor recalled that previous attempts in the 7th and 8th Assemblies to upgrade the existing facilities at the Abia State College of Education(Technical),Arochukwu to become a Federal Tertiary Institution failed due to the absence of a Bill which seeks to Amend the Federal Colleges of Education Act, which this bill seeks to address.
He said “The Bill technically consists of 3 Clauses namely: Amendment of Federal Colleges of Education Act Cap F8 Cap N143 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, Amendment of first schedule to the Principal Act and Citation. We would by passing this Bill for further legislative process bring the dreams and aspirations of not just the good people of Abia State but all Nigerians, to have access to good federal government tertiary education.
Stressing the importance of the institution to the Nation’s educational system, Kalu said the proposed College of education will produce competent Teachers for secondary schools in the country.
“We desire to have this Bill passed into law because education is highly valued and considered as a social service. We know that it is a tool for change, growth and acts as a steering engine for national consciousness and development.
“Therefore, no nation or society can strive to function effectively in the absence of education without proper collaboration with education and information to produce skills, knowledge, competencies, and as well enhance the development of human potentials to promote technology, Kalu concluded.”
Lending his support to the Bill, Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Ajayi Boroffice stated that the establishment of the college of education would increase the number of qualified Teachers to teach in secondary schools in the country. Boroffice also advocated for the establishment of a secondary schools commission to discourage uncertified Teachers from practicing in secondary schools.
He said the existing College (Technical) provides limited access that by expanding the scope to a Federal College of Education barricades will be removed.
In his contribution Senator Adamu Aliero( Kebbi Central), rallied the Senate to grant the bill second reading, Aliero said that establishment of the Federal College of Education will incur less financial burden since the human and infrastructural resources are already in existence.
“Unlike most of the other bills seeking the establishment of educational institutions that usually incur a lot of costs, this one is already in existence. What the sponsor of this bill ( Senator Orji Kalu) is asking us to do is to upgrade the institution. The facilities are already there , the teachers are already on the payroll, the structures are also there, if it is upgraded as time goes on there might be need to add more. This is a very straightforward bill and I believe no one will be opposed to its second passage and I urge my colleagues to support it since it has no serious financial implications, Aliero said.
The bill passed second reading after it was put to a voice vote by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.
Earlier on Wednesday the Senate granted first reading to a bill for the establishment of a Federal Polytechnic Abiriba. The bill titled “Federal Polytechnic Act (Amendment) Bill , 2022 (SB. 980) is fronted by Orji Kalu.