The Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, on Tuesday, held A-One day public hearing on A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of the Federal University of Technology Offa, Kwara State, by Upgrading the Federal Polytechnic Offa to a Degree Awarding Institution, and for Other Matters Connected Therewith, (Establishment, ETCE TERA BILL, 2021) [SB : 702].
Speaking during the Public hearing, the Senator representing Kwara South Senatorial District, Senator Oyelola Ashiru, warmly welcomed the stakeholders and relates the objective of the bill to the social, cultural and economic needs of the people of Nigeria also to promote scholarship and conduct research in restricted fields of human endeavour.
Speaking further on the rationale behind the bill, Senator Ashiru dwell on the institution’s infrastructure, Human Resources and the recorded outstanding success which was rated as one of the best 10 polytechnic in Nigeria, also ranked as the best affiliated institution in Nigeria by National University Commission (NUC) with uninterrupted academic session.
While presenting memorandum, the Chairman Governing Council of the Federal Polytechnic Offa, Dr. Usman Bokani Ahmed, gave the statistics of the staff strengths to be total of 1,326, and the landmass of one hundred and fifty hectare (1,500ha) with other physical infrastructure resources that will accommodate more population when the institution is upgraded.
Speaking on the staff and facility availability, Prof, Abdulmojeed Ijaiya recounted his experience. “In the late 90s’ during the laboratory analyses of my Ph.D thesis was the frustration of most of us that needed to do laboratory procedures for amino acids analysis which was only possible then at the University of Jos where the amino acid analyzer was functional and one had to book months in advance. It was a big relieve for me when I visited the Food Science and Technology Laboratory of the Federal Polytechnic Offa and found out that their FST laboratory are functional with full compliments of qualified Technologists.
“The Federal Polytechnic, Offa has a good number of qualified academic staff with Ph.D and some others nearing completion of their Ph.D programmes. The Resource assessment conducted in collaboration with National Universities Commission (NUC) and Federal University of Technology, Minna before the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed and approved by the NUC for affiliation with Federal University of Technology, Minna was commendable,” he noted.
The Alumni association in its submission, ably presented by the alumni national president, Dr. Adeyemi Ayoade, appraised the outstanding performances of many graduates of the institution in their chosen field. “The alumni association has its members drawn across all walks of life which is a confirmation that the Polytechnic in its past years has a direct impact on the growth of our National economy,” he added.
In the closing remark, the Olofa Of Offa, Oba Mufutau Oloyede Gbadmosi, Esuwoye II, represented by Agbaakin of Offa land, Dr. Adetokun Bashir Adepoju, conveyed the royal greetings to the President of the Senate, the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institution and TETFUND, and other distinguished guests. He admonished the committee to consider the swift passage of the bill as the bill will further increase the number of research centres in Nigeria where innovative ideas can be developed, thereby projecting Nigeria in the field of research work in technology.
The public hearing which was declared opened by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, had in attendance other stakeholders which includes, the Federal Polytechnic Offa Rector, Dr, Lateef Olatunji, with the institution principal officers, the institution Governing Council chairman, Dr. Usman Bokani Ahmed with members, the Alumni Association, Dr. Adeyemi Ayoade, NUC, Offa Descendants Union (Abuja Chapter) NANS President Com. Sunday Asefon with members of his executive.