The Senate on Tuesday, at plenary, passed a bill to give legal backing to the establishment of the Nigerian Army University, Biu in Borno. Chairman of the Committee on Nigerian Army, Sen. Ali Ndume (APC-Borno South) said the passage of the bill followed a clause-by-clause consideration of the report of the committee. Ndume 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 the lawmaker, the bill, if passed into law, will promote research and other means of advancement of knowledge and its application to military hardware and software, among others. He said 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.
Meanwhile, the Senate also called on the Federal Ministry of Education to intensify its sensitization and advocacy programmes; and engage traditional and religious scholars on the plight of Almajiri. The senate said the need to enroll them into the universal basic education system to address the issue of out-of-school children in the country.
The call was contained in the recommendations of the report of Sen. Akon Eyakenyi (PDP-Akwa-Ibom South), the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education (Basic and Secondary). Eyakenyi said that “the Almajiris, who were predominant in the North, constituted the larger number of out-of-school children roaming the streets begging for alms and food in Nigeria.
The lawmaker said the the Almajiri pupils were covered by the intervention policy and programmes of the Federal Government through Universal Basic Education Act, 2004. “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 said. She said 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 the optimal operation and implementation of the BESDA Programme, as being implemented by UBEC in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education, required the efforts of all stakeholders to succeed.