By James Shim
The member representing Kwande/Ushongo at the House of Representatives, Hon Terseer Ugbor, has cleared the air on the controversy and misgivings over the purported establishment of Federal Polytechnic, Adikpo.
There have been accusations of diversion of Federal Polytechnic Adikpo to Wannune in Tarka Local Government, the birth place of Distinguished Senator George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF.
Speculations were rife that Distinguished Senator Barnabas Gemade had secured approval for the establishment of Federal Polytechnic, Adikpo and gone ahead to raise structures preparatory for its take-off.
But instead, the FG announced the establishment of similar institution in Wannune, a situation which triggered insinuations and allegations that Senator Akume used his position as Minister, then in the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari to deprive the people of the opportunity.
But Hon. Ugbor while speaking on the matter said, “I visited the site with Senator Barnabas Gemade who moved a motion for the establishment of the polytechnic.
“The bill was in the second reading when Gemade dedicated his resources to building the structures on the site.The bill was not able to go through the full process of the third reading and passage.
“So the federal polytechnic was never established”.
According to him, it was however, the hope that the federal government seeing the efforts put in place by the initiator, government would graciously grant the polytechnic but rather, government was making other considerations.
He said however that, “I am trying to re-present the bill but the process of passing a bill is cumbersome, aside the facts that now there is the Federal Polytechnic Wannune and there are plans to upgrade College of Education, Katsina -Ala to a federal institution, among others federal institutions, saying this has placed Kwande in a tight position for the realization of another polytechnic in Adikpo.
Ugbor said, however that ,”We are speaking with the Government of Benue State to explore the possibility of setting up a satellite campus of Benue State University in the area”.
“It will be the first of its kind and it will help in extending education to the people of the area as Kwande will be the first beneficiaries.
According to him, the Ter Kwande has also been making contributions in this regard advocating that the Campus should be of the Faculty of Engineering, Agriculture or Geology.
He expressed hope that with time, the campus can grow and one day become an institution on its own.
Hon Ugbor promised sustained lobbying and negotiations for the realization of federal institution in the area.
The Honourable member, who is Chairman of adhoc committee on Students Loan and Access to Higher Education also disclosed that he was taking steps towards the restoration of the suppressed federal constituency in the area.
“I am working with some colleagues who have similar issues across the country. I am working with some of my colleagues from other constituencies collectively for the creation of 10 extra federal constituencies to resolve some of these issues, and hopefully Kwande Ushongo will be one of those to benefit to spread development.”
“What we are thinking is that we will bring proposals for creation of additional federal constituencies”.
Hon Ugbor further stated that as Chairman of the adhoc committee on Students loans he would ensure that students of the constituency are among the first and early beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s Students Loan Programme
“As chairman of the adhoc committee on students loans, I am hopeful that once the students loan Programme takes off next year students of Kwande/Ushongo will be among the first and early beneficiaries of the programme.
Ugbor also deputy chairman adhoc committee on Environment further stated that he has moved a motion on refugee crisis in Kwande and its attendant effects, and expressed the belief that in a short period of time resolutions will come on the issue.
He disclosed that he has moved a motion for the reconstruction of roads including that of Ugbema to Kashimbila but that it has not been captured in the 2024 budget, noting however that Buruku and Katsina-:Ala roads were captured and that reconstruction work would commence after passage of the budget.
“That road is very important not just for infrastructure but other economic benefits as it will serve as international route and a border area which will increase revenue , create job opportunities and reduce tensions”, he Stated.
The House member called on his constituents to support emerging leaders to bring more glory to the constituency#