Residents of Ndokwa community of Delta State have registered their displeasure over the delay in the passage of the bill to establish the Federal Polytechnic, Kwale, Delta State.
The residents, in a letter forwarded to the leadership of both the upper and lower chambers of the National Assembly, complained that while their wait to host a federal polytechnic had been stalled for over a year, the bill to establish another polytechnic in Orogun, Delta State, hometown of the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo Agege, has been read for the second time.
The Senate had in November 2018 approved the establishment of ten polytechnics, one of which was the Federal Polytechnic, Kwale, following a report by the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund.
The progress of the bill has, however, been stalled because there has been no concurrence by the House of Representatives on the bill.
The residents, therefore, suspect this to be a move to relocate the proposed polytechnic from Kwale to Orogun.
Weary of this, residents from the community staged a protest at the National Assembly gate last week Thursday.
This was followed by a letter dated December 11, 2019, seen by PREMIUM TIMES. In the letter, they urged both chambers to tend to their concerns about the proposed establishment of the Federal Polytechnic, Kwale, “without political bias”.
“The people of Ndokwa are not demanding too much if consideration applies,” the letter read. “It is the right of every ethnic group in our country Nigeria to have federal presence within their communities, hence we are here to NASS for the consideration to facilitate the process of establishing the Federal Polytechnic, Kwale as proposed by our Senator and (the) House of Representatives.”
“The federal presence we only have in Ndokwa as a whole is just the federal prison or recreation centre which has been established before Nigeria’s independence. Nothing from the federal level to augment our contribution to the national economy,” the letter, signed by the convener of the demand, Henry Ufuoma, and others read.
Calls to the respective current and former Senate committee chairmen on TETFund, Babba Keita and Jibrin Barau, were not answered. Godiya Akwashiki, Senate spokesperson, could not be reached as his line was switched off.
Benjamin Kalu, spokesperson of the House of Representatives, said he is not aware of the bill nor of the protest. He also said his office did not receive any letter.
“This could be because the House is rounding up for the year,” he said. He added that he could not speak on the bill until after lawmakers resume from recess late January.
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