Senate Approves Science and Tech Varsity for FCT

The Senate in session

• Steps down debate on electoral amendment bill

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The Senate yesterday approved the establishment of a Science and Technology University in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

It equally stood down the consideration of the report of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the INEC Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

Senate approval of the Science and Technology University for the FCT is coming 17 months after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had at one of its weekly meetings in May 2017 approved the establishment of the special university in Abaji.

Presenting the report of the committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND at plenary for the establishment of the university, its Chairman, Senator Jibrin Barau(APC Kano North), urged the Senate to receive and consider the report of the committee for the establishment of FCT University of Science and Technology (Est, etc) Bill, 2018.

He urged his colleagues to approve the establishment of the university because the location is central and will generate employment opportunities for the residents of Abaji and environ.

Senator Philip Aduda (PDP FCT), who sponsored the bill for the establishment of the university, told journalists after plenary that all was set for the takeoff of the university by next academic session.

He disclosed that collaborative efforts were being made to get similar passage in the House of Representatives for required presidential assent.

According to him, 500 hectares of land had already been provided for the university in Abaji Area Council of the FCT aside blocks of classrooms and equipment also put in place by FCT Administration.

“As the Senator representing FCT and the sponsor of this bill, I am very elated with its passage today in the Senate and I am happy to inform you that required concurrence from the House of Representatives will be carried out soon for the awaiting presidential assent being a project conceived and approved by the federal government in May last year.

“FCT needs a university of its own outside the University of Abuja established in 1988 to cater for more people seeking university education within the territory and in Nigeria at large

Also yesterday, the Senate stood down the consideration of its committee on INEC on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Act 2010(Amendment) bill, 2018.

The Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, said the Senate had to defer debate on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill to another day in order to give the committee headed by Senator Suleiman Nazif ( PDP Bauchi North) adequate time to do a thorough legislative work on the bill.

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, while agreeing with Lawan, said the committee’s report would be stood down till next Tuesday.

According to him, “The Electoral Act Amendment Bill will now be presented at plenary by INEC committee next Tuesday.”

The Senate, after a heated debate, also yesterday confirmed the appointment of Dr. Abdulmalik Durnnguwa as Commissioner of National Population Commission (NPC).

Some Senators had faulted the presentation of the Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Identity Card and NPC, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi (PDP Kaduna North) about the credentials of Durnnguwa while presenting him for confirmation.

Senate Minority Leader, Senator Biodun Olujinmi, wondered how the nominee could obtain his primary school leaving certificate at the age of 10.

Senate President quickly interjected and said: “We have passed that stage, let’s do the needful as the committee has done its own.

He thereafter put the nominee’s name into voice vote and the ‘ayes’ had it.

Earlier, the Senate had gone into a close-door session upon resumption of plenary immediately after Saraki said the opening prayer at 11.45 a.m.

At the end of the session that lasted for only 15 minutes, Saraki said the session discussed issues of national importance as it affects the National Assembly in general and Senate in particular.