Senate Passes Second Reading Of Federal Co-operative Colleges Bill
The Bill for an Act to provide the establishment of Federal Co-operative Colleges and for related matters has scaled the Second Reading in the Senate.
Leading debate on the Bill during Wednesday’s plenary, the sponsor and Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, regretted that the Federal Co-operative Colleges created by the military fiat in 1976 had been operating without an enabling Act of the National Assembly.
He said: “The three Federal Co-operative Colleges located in Oji River, Ibadan, and Kaduna were established by an administrative fiat of the Federal Government in 1976 for the purpose of providing the required manpower in co-operative subsector of the economy.
“From inception, the Colleges were slated to cater for the growing needs of the co-operative education in Nigeria. Presently, the Colleges offer courses leading to award of Certificate and Diploma in Co-operative Studies. Each of these courses runs for one academic year. They also offer courses and give certificates for National Diploma Programme (ND) in Co-operative Economics and Management from the 1998 – 1999 academic session.
“In 2003, the Colleges were given full accreditation by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to run Higher National Diploma Programme (HND) in Co-operative Economics and Management.
“Although the staffers of the Colleges were initially appointed as civil servants, their role and work schedule have changed from that of Civil Service to Tertiary Educational Institution. The salary structure for Tertiary Educational Institutions has long been approved for the Colleges, while that of retirement age of 65 years has remained pending.”