The Senator representing Kwara South Senatorial District, in the National assembly, Senator Oyelola Ashiru, has begun moves in senate to upgrade Federal polytechnic, Offa, in Kwara State to a degree awarding Institution.
The Federal Polytechnic Offa was established in 1992 during the administration of Ibrahim Babangida and like other polytechnics in the country, it offers Ordinary National Diploma (OND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) with records of thousands of graduated students from the Polytechnic.
Already, he had presented a Bill at the plenary for an Act to amend the Federal Universities of Technology Act Cap F23 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, to establish Federal University of Technology, Offa, by upgrading the Federal Polytechnic Offa, Kwara State from Diploma awarding Institution to a Degree awarding Institution and for related matters.
Recall that the bill was read for the first time in the hallowed chamber on, Tuesday, 27th of April, 2021 before it was read for the second time Wednesday and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institution and TETFUND.
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The lawmaker, while highlighting the background of the bill harped on the acute shortage of available slots to Nigerian Universities for students seeking to get a degree in different courses.
The senator said, according to JAMB, only a few percentage of candidates secure admission due to limited vacancies in Nigeria Universities .
He said the challenge is, therefore, a call for establishing more universities to cater for the demand of the qualified applicants from this zone.
The lawmaker also said that the high academic standards and uninterrupted academic session of the polytechnic has made it to be rated consistently as one of the best 10 Polytechnics in Nigeria, a development, he said has earned the institution both National and International recognition.
He said, “With a population of 10,000 students, the school is ranked the best affiliated institution in Nigeria by National University Commission (NUC). The school has been anchoring IJMB program since 2018 in collaboration with Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria.”
While explaining the necessity for the polytechnic to be upgraded to a degree award institution, the lawmaker said, “The NUC approved The Federal Polytechnic Offa to run Degree programs effective since 2018/2019 academic session in affiliation with the university of Technology Minna (FUTMINNA).
“The school has also finalised the process of affiliation with the Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE) and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, (LAUTECH) Ogbomosho.
“The school has many competent and capable lecturers to train students in the field of sciences and humanities courses. It presently has over 50 Ph.D holders as lecturers and in addition, more than 40 lecturers currently in the processs of obtaining their Ph.D in their various fields.
“The Federal Polytechnic Offa has a land mass of 1050 hectares of which 27% is presently in use, with good road networks 10% of it tarred, the school is blessed with modern infrastructural facilities, such as; Lecture theatres, well equipped libraries, standard medical centre, entrepreneurship center, hostel facilities that can accommodate more than 3000 students, adequate water supply, a very supportive host community and the needed Human Resources to immediately commence academic session after its conversion to the Federal University of Technology.”
The lawmaker, while urging the President of The Senate and his colleagues, to humbly support his legislative bill, stated that the Federal Government of Nigeria will not incur additional cost in converting the Federal Polytechnic, Offa to Federal University of Technology, Offa.