BEING TEXT OF
A GOODWILL MESSAGE
THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE
SENATOR (DR.) ANYIM PIUS ANYIM, GCON
OCCASION OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE PUBLIC HEARING
ON EDUCATION BILLS
THIS DAY. MONDAY. AUGUST 26. 2002.
Let me start by expressing my profound happiness especially with the large turn out this morning for this all-important event, that is, public hearing on Education Bills before the National Assembly.
The enthusiasm and excitement which these bills have elicited among Nigerians in so short a time gives me joy. It is indeed a pointer to the fact that we all appreciate the reality that education is the bedrock of development. I can also infer from the turn out here today that the crisis in the education sector is a concern to all Nigerians.
I must particularly thank the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASU) and other stakeholders who have sent in huge volumes of useful memoranda. May I also take the liberty to thank our own hardworking Senate Committee Chairman on Education, Senator (Dr.) Alex Kadiri and his team who have laboured tirelessly day and night to bring these milestone initiatives in our education sector to this stage.
Today, the National Assembly has three Education Bills pending before it, namely:
- A Bill for an Act to amend the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board Act in order to make universities autonomous in the placement of qualified candidates and matters related thereto,
- A Bill for an Act to amend the National Universities Commission Act in order to make universities autonomous in their administration, management, etcetera and matters related thereto; and
- A Bill for an Act to provide for the repeal of the Universities (miscellaneous provisions) Act and to make new and better provisions for universities in Nigeria and matters related to it.
It is significant to note at this juncture that all the afore-named bills have been read the first time. It is my firm conviction that the deliberations and interactions of today will richly enhance the end products of these bills.
May I assure this august gathering and indeed Nigerians that we in the National Assembly are convinced that quality education holds the key to fast development of the nation. We are therefore determined to give these bills accelerated treatment.
Incidentally, today marks the beginning of the fourth and last session of the Senate in this 4th Republic. I want to reaffirm that because of the importance we attach to the development of the education sector, we will ensure that these bills are passed during this last session.
Let me also state here categorically that because of the genuine commitment of the National Assembly to the upliftment of education in the country, we have spread the public hearing to cover every part of the country in a manner that people can without much inconvenience contribute to the discourse and interactive sessions. The event of this morning is one in a series of public hearings scheduled for Lagos on Wednesday, August 28; Port Harcourt, Friday, August 30 and Kaduna, Monday, September 2, 2002. I enjoin every Nigerian wherever you are to endeavour to be part of any of these sessions.
I wish you all fruitful deliberations as 1 hereby inaugurate this all-important event.