A bill seeking to give legal backing to the newly established nine federal universities yesterday scaled second reading in the House of Representatives.
The new universities are Federal University, Lokoja, Kogi State; Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State; Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State; Federal University, Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State; Federal University, Wukari, Taraba State, Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State and Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State.
Others are Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State; State and Federal University, Ndufe-Alike, Ebonyi State.
Leading debate on the general principles of the legislation, House Majority Leader Mulikat Akande-Adeola said much had been done with regards to funding of the new universities in order to make them fully operational
Adeola-Akande disclosed that with introduction of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), and the N1.5 billion take-off grants allocated to each of the institution by the Federal Government, academic programmes have since commenced.
However, Minority Whip Samson Osagie caution against the tendency to neglect the existing federal universities across the country by the government.
For his part, Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Rep. Farouk Lawan argued that the new universities would go a long way in addressing the educational challenges facing the country.
The bill was referred to the Education Committee for further legislative action.