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Jubilation as Senate moves to establish Health Sciences Varsity, ICT institute

The Senate has passed a bill to establish the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo, Benue State. The upper chamber also passed a bill for the establishment of the Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Suleja.

The passage of both bills followed the consideration of two separate reports by the Committees on Health (Secondary and Tertiary) and Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND. Chairman of the Committee on Health, Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central), in his presentation, said the passage of the bill seeking to establish the University of Medical Sciences, Otukpo, would give legal backing to the institution, which was already in existence.

He said: “Mr. President and Distinguished Colleagues, this is coming at a very important time in our history. With the challenges of the pandemic and the importance of the health sector generally in Nigeria and globally, the creation of a University of Health Sciences is very necessary. “More importantly, the Federal University of Health Sciences Otukpo, is already in existence, but needs legal backing to effectively carry out its mandates,” Oloriegbe said.

The lawmaker explained that the bill sought to, among other things, address the dearth in admission of students aspiring to study medicine and allied health sciences in Nigeria. He noted that the university would fill the vacuum created by the loss of manpower in the country’s health services industry to migration and brain drain.

Senator Nora Ladi Daduut, in a presentation on behalf of the Chairman, Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, Ahmad Babba Kaita (APC, Katsina North), said the establishment of the institute of Information and Communication Technology would offer practitioners’ knowledge in systems analysis, testing and designs in virtual healthcare application, electronic health record and tele-medicine, and software and hardware development. According to the lawmaker, the institute would provide the required manpower needs of Nigerians in ICT as well as deepen the knowledge of students in information and technological advancement and acquisition.

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