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Senate moves to establish University of Environment in Ogoniland

KUNLE ADESUJI, Abuja
Senate on Wednesday passed  a bill seeking  to establish the Federal University of Environment Technology to second reading.

Leading debate on the bill, Senator Barinada Mpigi said if approved by the Senate, the university will be established in Saakpenwa, in the Ogoni land aadding that  setting up the institution of higher learning in the area would provide the manpower needed to tackle the environmental degradation in the area.
He said,” As a leader and community mobilizer , it is my  passion and conviction that the establishment of a federal University of Environmental Technology, Saakpenwa Ogoni  will capture and mainstream the ideals of UNEP recommendations and help in confidence building and cementing relationship with community leadership and give opportunities to the youths and women to better understand the relationship between technology, environmental pollution and environmental protection not only I’m Ogoni but in the entire Niger Delta region and Nigeria in general in order to combat the threat of ecology and climate change.
“The proposed Federal University of Environment Technology, Saakpenwa , Ogoni when established will also provide for the institutional requirements for running a world class environmental technology institution by catering for learning and research needs of its prospective students and researchers in Nigeria and beyond.
” I want to reiterates l that when this bill is enacted into law , the Federal University of Environmental Technology, Saalpenwa Ogoni, Rivers state will be the first in Africa in these areas of learning and knowledge as a specialized University.
“Again as we are aware, the Ogoni struggle has earned international recognition and reputation. And thus there are available willing partners and buy-ins from international organizations and individuals especially those with bias in nature conservation and environmental protection to support take- off of the University.”
He submitted that Rivers state government has expressed support for the institution by providing a modern state of the arts facility at Saakpewa for the immediate take off while the host community have also interest to donate lands for the University.
Senator Sandy On or called on Senators to support the bill because the establishment of Environment University is of good importance.
According to him, this Bill is one bill that deserve all our support. I do believe that the establishment of this university will be of good importance and so I rise to wholeheartedly support this Bill.
Supporting the creation of the University, Senator Barau Jibrin, said the university would also train professionals who would tackle the erosion problems in the South – East and desertification in the North.
Also in his submission, Senator Ibikunle Amosun said the university would help in protecting environmental challenges adding that the establishment of the university would also reduce youth restiveness.
According to him, When this Bill is established, it will do a lot of things and help the community. Able bodied men and women in the community would have something doing and help curb vices.
After exhaustive debate on the bill, Senate E, Senator Ahmad Lawan referred the bill to o the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND to report in four weeks.
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