Group calls for assent to Federal University of Technology Bill
Temitope Mustapha, Abuja
The Greater Ogoja Development Initiative GODI, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the bill seeking the establishment of the Federal University of Technology, Ogoja passed by the National Assembly.
The Spokesperson of GODI, Professor Odey Osha, made the appeal in Abuja while addressing journalists at a news briefing tagged “ Making the Voice of Northern Cross River Count.’’
Prof. Osha said the bill seeking the establishment of the university had been passed by both chambers of the National Assembly at the 8th assembly in 2018.
He said the bill is historical to the people of Ogoja who are desirous of accessing quality education to drive nation building.
According to Prof. Osha, “It is axiomatic fact that knowledge will forever govern ignorance. The fact that you have an avalanche of requests for establishment of tertiary institution does not corroborate the imperativeness of citizens’ desire for education”
“However, to also address the teething challenges faced by Nigerians in their respective geographical locations, the passage of the bill is necessary.’’
Osha added that the northern areas of the old Ogoja province which was configured into Bekwarra, Obanliku, Obudu, Ogoja and Yala Local Government Areas have resolved that the university be established in Ogoja.
He disclosed that land had therefore been provided for the purpose.
“Ogoja was promised a university as early as 1975 and surreptitiously short-changed by the powers that be on the grounds of a minor disagreement between the host communities.
“Today, we have come of age to ask for what is rightly our own. Ogoja has been greatly marginalised in terms of Federal tertiary education,’’ he said.
He therefore said the establishment of the university would not just benefit the people of Ogoja but also would serve as a world class catchment university to the people of Enugu, Benue, Ebonyi and Taraba State.
Osha emphasised that the population of students in the existing universities in Cross River State, precisely in University of Calabar is about 46,000, he added that the increasing population of students in the area further necessitated the need to establish another federal university in Ogoja.
Meanwhile, Mr Godwin Akoli, the Coordinator of the initiative said that the establishment of a university in Ogoja would add to development in the socio-economic activities of the people.
According to him, the distance from Ogoja to Calabar, the state capital is 304 km which is a distance to anyone seeking knowledge within the state.
He noted that when the university is established it would create 6,000 direct job as well as reduce unemployment rate in the country.