A bill for an Act to Provide for Establishment of a Federal Polytechnic, Aba, Abia State, on Tuesday passed second reading at the House of Representatives.
The bill titled: “A bill for an Act to Provide for Establishment of the Federal Polytechnic, Aba, Abia State; and for Related Matters (HB.1613)” emanated from the Senate.
The bill was seeking concurrence in the House for a second reading.
Moving the motion on the bill, Rep. Idris Wase (APC-Plateau), said it was important to pass the bill for such an institution in Aba.
Also, the Deputy Chief Whip, Rep. Pally Iriase, said that Aba deserved a Federal Polytechnic given the industrial ingenuity of the people of the area.
“It is good to lend our support and see reasons cogent enough to establish a federal polytechnic in Aba. This is one bill to my mind that is very well thought out.
“Aba is noted for industry and the ingenuity that today’s science can only help to improve upon. And no institution can do this better than a federal polytechnic.
“This is one bill that is nice for this House to pass,” Iriase said.
Similarly, Rep. Nkiruka Onyejeocha (APC-Abia), said that the establishment of the Polytechnic will assist the factories in the city.
“We have a lot of factories in Aba that if we establish a federal polytechnic in Aba, it is going to help a lot.
“We need federal presence in Aba. Mr Speaker, I appeal that our colleagues should please support the bill,” she said.
Rep. Betty Apiafi (PDP-Rivers), spoke in favour of the bill, saying it should be supported.
Similarly, Rep. Wole Oke (PDP-Osun), said, “Abia State deserves federal polytechnic in Aba. Abia is also an oil producing state. So, I support this bill,” Oke said.
Meanwhile, Rep. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta (PDP-Abia), said that though he was in support of the establishment of the institution, it should, however, be sited in the area that “lays the golden egg”.
Nkem-Abonta was referring to the oil producing zone of the state which he represents.
“We should look at the demography of the state. We should not forget the hen that lays the golden eggs. The area to site it is very important,” he said.
He then moved to propose an amendment to the bill to include the clause but was advised by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara, to do so at the Committee/public hearing level.
The speaker, in his concluding remarks to the debate, expressed surprised that Aba did not have a federal Polytechnic before now, insisting that it deserved one.
“It baffles me that we don’t have a polytechnic already in Aba. The location shouldn’t be a problem.
“If there is a place to establish a federal polytechnic in Nigeria, it should be in Aba. It is long overdue. When it gets to committee level, you can raise those issues,” he said.
When the bill was put to a voice vote by the speaker, it was unanimously adopted by the members and passed through second reading.