Conversion of MAUTECH to conventional university is in national interest ― Atiku

Former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the last general elections, Atiku Abubakar has said the conversion of Modibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH), Yola to a Conventional University was in national interest.

He made the declaration on Thursday in his presentation before the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and Tertiary Education Trust Fund,(TETFUND)public hearing on the conversion of MAUTECH to a multidisciplinary institution.

Also tabled for the public hearing was the proposed Federal University of Agriculture and Technology, Funtua, Katsina state.

The former vice president said the people of the Northeast region have been at the mercy of insurgency which he noted has led to a drastic reduction in enrolment in tertiary education.

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He said:” A compelling justification for the conversion, is the location of the University. MAUTECH Yola is located in the North-East region of the country, a region just emerging from a gruelling insurgency whose central creed is antagonism with conventional education. Limiting access to higher education to a large number of youths in the region will not only mean submitting to the defeat of the insurgents but worsening the challenges of the youth bulge in the area.

”The general state of fear – both imagined and real, that has enveloped the region as a result of the activities of the dreaded Boko Haram and general insecurity on the roads, has extinguished the motivation in parents to send their children to neighbouring conventional Universities that should ordinarily absorb the candidates.

”Added to this, is the worsening economic situation in the region, which has been deepened by the insurgency. The conversion of the University would create more access to students and lessen the burden on parents and guardians who would ordinarily find it difficult to send students far for academic pursuit.

”Distinguished Senators, it is in the overall national interest that you favourably consider the conversion of Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola to a conventional University (Modibbo Adama University, Yola) which in addition to courses in Science and Technology will have the mandate to run courses in Medicine, Pharmacy, Law, the Arts and Social and Management Sciences etc.

”This indeed is the surest way to accelerate access, quality, relevance and equity for our people in Adamawa State, the Northeast and indeed Nigeria.  It is equally part of the right step toward rebuilding a broken people. We lose nothing and gain everything if we just get this done.”

Earlier in her remarks, Senator representing Adamawa Central, Senator Aisha Benani who initiated the bill for the conversion of MAUTECH to a multidisciplinary institution aligned with the submission of the former vice president that insurgency has restrained students from  the Northeast region from moving outside  their immediate zone to seek for learning in tertiary institutions which have led to drastic reduction in enrolment.

”With this institution in Yola, the gap will be bridged, jobs will be created and they will feel at home learning professional courses. Converting the only federal institutions to a multidisciplinary institution, justice will be served. It will also complement the efforts of the federal government in developing the Northeast region.”

The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo Agege advised the  Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and Tertiary Education Trust Fund, led by Senator Ahmed Baba Kaita to be thorough in its assignment.

Senator Omo Agege said the conversion of MAUTECH, Adamawa and the proposed Federal University of Agriculture and Technology, Funtua were desirable in ensuring social justice and bringing quality education closer to the teeming youths.

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