By Dr Aliyu Tilde
My attention has just been drawn to an online circulating letter written to His Excellency, the Governor of Bauchi State, by a politician regarding the allocation of land to the tertiary institutions that the Federal Government is establishing in the State. The politician would not have wasted his time preaching to the Pope had he known the effort of my Ministry and the Bauchi State Government on the matter.
Three institutions are involved and below is an explanation of the present state of accommodation in the State.
Bauchi State Government has liaised with relevant stakeholders and allocated land for the permanent site of Federal College of Education Jama’are. It is along Kano Road. This was since the start of the rainy season. The Government has also given its Government Secondary School Jama’are to the College for use as a temporary site after due consultation with the community. It also gave the Management of the College offices at Government Arabic College Jama’are.
Then the Management of the FCE wrote the Ministry of Education seeking for assistance with relevant materials for their takeoff. The Ministry gave them all they need for the takeoff including transport, offices, furniture, etc. The only thing it could not afford was money, which we feel the Federal Government that has a bigger purse and own the College should do.
The Ministry has months ago received a letter of appreciation of its effort from the Management of the College.
What is holding the commencement of activities of the College is the take-off grant from the FG. We hope the FG will expedite action on that.
2. Federal College of Science and Technology, Misau
Bauchi State Government has also in consultation with stakeholders of Misau, including the Emir, elders and the Local Government allocated land to FCST Misau along Kari Road, just before the college of Navy.
The College is also given the BASOVCA school as a temporary site.
A delegation from the FG came and expressed satisfaction over the sites.
3. Federal University of Health Sciences, Azare.
The Ministry has recently received a letter addressed to His Excellency requiring land for the establishment of the above university in Azare. The FG is asking for a land of 100 hectares that has the necessary amenities like access road, water and electricity. The FME said a structure containing the above attributes will also be welcome.
As done for Jama’are and Misau, due process must be followed. Getting 100 ha of land in Azare overnight is not possible. The Emirate Council, the Local Government and elders of the Emirate need to be consulted for the identification of the appropriate site. Owners of the lands also must be consulted and their compensation determined.
If an existing school will be given, consideration has to be made for the accommodation of its students elsewhere. That is why GDSS Misau was not given to FCST, Misau. The Ministry does not have another day secondary school in Misau which can accommodate an additional 1,300 students.
When all is done, the Ministry write a memo submitting its suggestion to His Excellency for final approval.
It is unfortunate that the Bauchi State Government was never consulted before the establishment of these schools; otherwise, the Ministry would have long prepared ahead of the announcement of their establishment by the Federal Government. The unilateral decision of the Federal Government is what has caused whatever delay is seen today.
Finally, matters of education must not be politicized. We appreciate the absolute powers of the FG over its institutions. However, pressure from politicians will not force us to truncate due process that will be in the best interest of the state.
Dr Aliyu U. Tilde
Commissioner of Education
3 November 2021