By EricJames Ochigbo
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has called for introduction of stringent conditions for establishment of universities in the country, to ensure high standard.
Gbajabiamila said this at Wednesday’s plenary in Abuja.
He was speaking on a report of a bill for the establishment of Federal University, Daura, Katsina State.
He said that the conditions would prevent the proliferation of universities in the country.
“There is a balance between demands by constituents and what is good when we know what is right.
“I think this matter will be resolved when we pass the National University Commission (NUC) bill, where perhaps, we can make establishment of universities more stringent.
“Otherwise, you will run into a situation where a state government or whoever will just come, get a building or three buildings together and say they want a university,” he said.
According to him, the stringent measures will be in place until such a time when the government is no longer funding universities, then you can have 200 in a state.
Earlier, Deputy Speaker Ahmed Wase, faulted the speaker’s position on the matter, saying that many lawmakers have promised their constituents that they would attract tertiary institutions to their areas.
According to him, this is because some lawmakers have promised their constituents a tertiary education.
Also, Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta) said that the lawmakers were under pressure from constituents on the establishment of university.
“In my opinion, I think it is not wise to shut down every voice or every member on this floor as it relates to sponsoring a bill for the establishment of either college of education or polytechnic or university in their various communities.
“I said this because when you go tot he constituencies and you are talking to the constituents, most often, the first thing they ask you is; why are you not bringing any school to your constituency?
“And when you say it is not possible and they see your colleagues sponsoring same bills for the establishment of universities, it becomes a negative for you as an individual who is representing them.
“So, whether it is assented to by the President or not, it is not the issue; the issue is that member is able to show that he has the interest of his or her constituents at heart,” he said.
Rep. Ifeayi Momoh (APGA-Anambra) faulted the transport university, Daura, establishment bill, saying that the National Institute of Transportation Technology (NITT), Zaria should be upgraded rather than establishing a new university.
“I am just thinking aloud because we have the NITT -Nigeria Institute of Transport Technology – in Zaria.
“When there is an institute of transport technology, which deals with the science of transportation itself, why are we now looking at establishing a Federal University of Transportation?
“We can amend the enabling law and upgrade NITT to a federal university; the constant proliferation of universities in our country is not helping us,” he said.