Approval of Federal Polytechnic Onueke in Ebonyi by Senate on Second Reading

During the Senate session on Tuesday, a bill advocating for the establishment of the Federal Polytechnic Onueke in Ebonyi State, located in South Eastern Nigeria, successfully moved past the second reading. Senator Kenneth Emeka Eze was the driving force behind this initiative.

Articulating the foundational principles of the bill, Eze emphasized that the proposed polytechnic would offer full-time educational programs in areas such as information and communications technology, as well as applied sciences, among others.

The bill was initially presented to the Senate on August 1, 2023, with Eze highlighting the significant role that the Polytechnic could play in enhancing human capital development and securing a brighter future for the youth in Nigeria, especially within the Ebonyi Central region.

Education’s vital role in fostering a prosperous and progressive society was underscored by Eze, who emphasized that a Polytechnic provides technical education essential for empowering individuals, nurturing talents, and laying a robust foundation for economic progress. He also acknowledged the government’s ongoing efforts in this area.

Eze remarked, “While recognizing the government’s substantial strides in broadening access to education at tertiary levels, there remains more to be accomplished, particularly in addressing the educational requirements related to practical skills in underserved areas.

Historically, the pursuit of higher educational qualifications was primarily driven by the aspiration for white-collar employment. However, Eze highlighted the evolving landscape where education is now geared towards skill development tailored to individual aptitudes and societal problem-solving.

Internationally, tertiary education is oriented towards enhancing skills and addressing societal challenges. Polytechnics play a crucial role in providing hands-on, specialized education in technical fields, ICT, and applied sciences, thus integrating nations into the global arena centered around skill and technology proficiency.

The significant investments in technological skill development made by countries like China, India, Korea, Singapore, and Brazil have been key to their economic vibrancy and success.

Senator Jimoh Ibrahim praised Senator Eze’s dedication to educational matters, highlighting the indispensable role of education in combating poverty. He proposed a sweeping bill urging the establishment of Polytechnics in each Senatorial District in recognition of the significance of technical education.

Former Abia State governor, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, echoed the importance of technical education for the young generation and commended the bill’s proposer for his foresight, urging fellow legislators to back the initiative.

Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau, leading the session, lauded the bill sponsor and subsequently referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Tertiary Education. The committee is expected to review and report back on the bill within a fortnight.

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