By Fateema Idris
Gombe State governor, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, has inaugurated an 11-member committee on tertiary institutions in the state, lamenting that the state has in recent times witnessed a phenomenal proliferation of tertiary institutions.
While inaugurating the committee in Gombe, the governor noted that the explosion in the establishment of tertiary institutions would have ordinarily been perceived as a positive development, but there are issues associated with their establishment that need to be looked into, including funding, provision of infrastructure, meeting manpower requirements and their relevance and sustainability plans.
He said: “It is our government’s genuine desire to address these challenges and other concerns associated with creation of the institutions. We strongly believe that establishing institutions must be in tandem with the immediate socio-economic needs and reality of the state.
“You would agree with me that our young state has numerous competing interests and demands and meager financial resources. This, without doubt, has direct implication for the overall drive of the state.
“As a responsible government, we cannot be unmindful of the need to take bold steps toward correcting the anomalies that are glaring in the distribution of development across the state, in the best interest of our people.”
“We are aware of the genuine concern of our people, and this explains the constitution of this powerful committee of eminent people in order to review the establishment of the institutions and advise government on the way forward.
“Let me reiterate that we have no ill-feelings about their establishment, but as a government of CHANGE, we must be seen to address the issues that could hamper speedy development and growth of our state.”
The governor then explained that the tertiary institutions to be covered are Gombe State College of Education, Billiri; Gombe State Polytechnic, Bajoga; Gombe State College of Legal and Islamic Studies, Nafada; Gombe State College of Nursing and Midwifery, Dukku, and Gombe State University of Science and Technology, Kumo.
The committee is to, among others, review the establishment of the institutions from inception to date; assess the potential and relevance or otherwise of the institutions to the educational and overall socio-economic development needs of Gombe State; assess the viability and sustainability of the institutions considering the financial resources and status of the state, especially in view of the heavy debt overhang (about N120 billion).
The committee is also to prioritise the need of the state in terms of basic vocational and tertiary education with a view to sharing the resources available; as well as make such other recommendations as it may deem fit and submit its report to the government within 30 days.
He expressed confidence in the members of the committee drawn from the academic, political and public sectors and urged them to live above sentiments and other petty considerations.
Members of the committee are Professor Buba Bajoga (chairman), Senator Saidu Umar Kumo, Senator Haruna Garba, Professors Rufai Ahmed Alkali, Sani Abba Aliyu, Istifanu Williams, Nebath Tanglang, Nana Tanko; Drs. Gidado Bello Kumo and Japheth D. Konni, and Mr Robert Wabida Lenus (secretary).
In his remarks, the chairman of the committee Professor Buba Bajoga promised on behalf of other members to do a thorough job and called on the people of the state to support and cooperate with the committee.