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Senate passes Nigerian Army varsity bill



Senate passes Nigerian Army varsity bill
Senate has commenced moves to address the issue of school children by calling on the Federal Ministry of Education to intensify its sensitization and advocacy programmes; and engagement of traditional and religious scholars on the plight of Almajiris, and the need to enroll them into the universal basic education system.

This was even as it passed a bill to give legal backing to the establishment of the Nigerian Army University, Biu in Borno State.

The need to integrate the Almajiri into the education system was contained in the report of the Senate Committee on Education (Basic and Secondary) where it stressed the need to integrate Almajiri education morning not the Modern System of Education in Nigeria.

Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senator Akon Eyakenyi (PDP Akwa-Ibom South), in her presentation observed that “the Almajiris, who are predominant in the North, constitute the larger number of out of school children roaming the streets begging for alms and food in Nigeria, and therefore are covered by the intervention policy and programmes of the Federal Government through the Universal Basic Education Act, 2004.”

According to her, “the implementation of the UBEC Act, 2004 requires maximum collaborations with the state governments and indeed the domestication of the Act through the state legislatures.”

She noted that Nigeria had obtained $611 million dollars from the World Bank Financed Programme – Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA), as a credit to specifically address the problem of out of school children.

The lawmaker, however, stressed that “optimal operation and implementation of the BESDA Programme as being anchored and implemented by UBEC in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education and participation of key Education Agencies, require improved Federal-State-Local level Communication, coordination and collaboration to succeed.”

Passage of the bill to establish the Nigerian University followed a clause-by-clause consideration of the report of the Committee on Army.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Ali Ndume (APC Borno South) said the Committee, while undertaking legislative work on the bill, took into consideration “areas that are in conflict with other extant laws, those that have security implication and those that are ambiguous.”

According to him, the university with the passage of the bill into law, “would promote research and other means of advancement of knowledge and its application to military hardware and software, social, cultural, economical, scientific, and technological situations.”

He stated that the Institution would cater for the development of middle and high-level manpower in the area of technological empowerment for civilians, appreciation of military policies, logistic and strategies.

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