The processes for the establishment of a federal polytechnic in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State have begun with the first reading on the floor of the House of Representatives, of a bill that will lead to an Act of Parliament to that effect.
The bill is sponsored by Dr. Alex Egbona, the member, representing Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency in the House. It is likely that the polytechnic will be located at Egboronyi, where the current Agbo Comprehensive Secondary School sits.
The lawmaker had recently undertaken a tour of various parts of the constituency where he intends to attract the federal government to either undertake fresh projects or complete existing ones.
During his campaigns, Egbona had promised that he would undertake projects and programmes that would enhance the education of the people of his constituency. The sponsorship of the bill is the first of such practical moves.
In an interview, Egbona said it has always been his dream to serve his people and strengthen their capacity.
“It is a rare privilege to be in the House of Representatives to make laws for the good of my people. My sponsorship of this bill is one step towards the development of my constituency and attracting the presence of the federal government to the place.
“Of course you know that by the time the polytechnic is established, there will be a multiplier effect. Wherever the school will be located, there will be massive development around that area. In this case, the entire Abi and even neighbouring local governments will benefit.
From the bill “there is hereby established the Federal Polytechnic, Abi specified in the First Schedule to this Act (in this Act severally referred to as ‘the polytechnic’) which shall have such powers and exercise such functions as is specified in this Act.
The proposed polytechnic shall “provide full-time or part-time courses of instruction and training in technology, applied science, commerce and management; and in such other fields of applied learning relevant to the needs of the development of Nigeria in the area of industrial and agricultural production and distribution and for research in the development and adaptation of techniques as the council may from time to time determine.”
The bill also provides that “there shall be established for the polytechnic a council, which shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and may sue and may be sued in its corporate name.
“The council shall consist of a chairman and the following other members, that is: one person to represent the universities; one person to represent the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria; one person to represent professional bodies, whose discipline are taught at the polytechnic; one person selected from a federal or state public utility statutory corporation; one person of standing in the community where the polytechnic is situated; the rector of the polytechnic; one representative of the minister charged with responsibility for matters relating to polytechnics; one representative of the permanent secretary of the ministry charged with responsibility for matters relating to industries; one representative of the academic board of the polytechnic; one representative of the state commissioner for education; and five other persons, at least one of whom shall be a woman, to be selected on his personal merit based on his contribution to either the development of industry, technology or commerce or special interest in technical education.
“The chairman and members of the council other than ex-officio members shall be appointed by the president. The provisions set out in the Second Schedule to this Act shall apply in relation to the constitution of the council and other related matters therein specified.”
Other provisions in the bill include how students would be disciplined. It states that “subject to the provisions of this section, where it appears to the rector that any student of the polytechnic has been guilty of misconduct, the rector may, without prejudice to any other disciplinary powers conferred on him by this Act or regulations made hereunder direct:
“That the student shall not during such period as may be specified in the direction, participate in such activities of the polytechnic, or make use of such facilities of the polytechnic, as he may specify; or that the activities of the student shall, during such period as may be specified in the directions, be restricted in such manner as may be so specified; or that the student be suspended for such period as may be specified in the directions; or that the student be expelled from the polytechnic.
“Where there is temporarily no rector or where the rector refuses to apply any disciplinary measures, the council, either directly or through some other staff, may apply such disciplinary actions as are specified in subsection (1) of this section to any student of the polytechnic who is guilty of misconduct.