The major University related unions in Nigeria are showing contrasting reactions to the idea of Federal Government setting up a Federal University of Technology in Asaba, Delta State. The National University Commission (NUC) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), on Thursday, expressed their support for the establishment of the institution. Meanwhile, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is expressing an opposing opinion on the plan for establishment.
The NUC disclosed its support while making a submission at a public hearing on the Bills for the Establishment of Federal University of Technology Asaba, Delta State, and the Federal College of Education (FCE) Keana, Nassarawa State.
The NUC, Executive Secretary, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, who was represented by the director of Corporate Communications in the commission, Ibrahim Yakassai, said the the establishment of more tertiary institutions have become imperative so as to provide opportunity for more persons to get access to tertiary education.
The Public hearing was held by the House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services/TETFUND, led by the Committee’s Chairman, Aminu Suleman Goro (APC, Kano), on Thursday.
The National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) and the College of Education Staff Union (COESU) gave conditional support for the establishment of more Colleges of Education (COEs) in the country.
The Bills were sponsored by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta), and Abubakar Hassan Nalaraba (APC, Nassarawa) respectively.
Speaking at the public hearing, Elumelu said the bill is intended to create more access to tertiary education in the country, called for the speedy passage of the bill and verything needed for the take off of the university are already in place.
According to him, “The classrooms for the school, they are available, even the hostels are there. So, the federal government will have less to spend for the take off. It is the easiest that any institution that I have ever seen set up can boast of. And that is why I think that this should be supported and be given easy passage.”
On its part, SSANU, which was represented by Mohammed Aliyu, while expressing support for the proposed university, called for more funding and infrastructure for tertiary institutions to boost the quality of education.
However, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) rejected the idea of establishing more universities in the country, saying that the government should rather concentrate on making the existing ones better in terms of infrastructure and other capacities.