By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Senate on Tuesday moved to established the Federal University of Lafia Teaching Hospital and College of Crop Sciences and Food Technology, Lere, Kaduna State, when it considered two bills to that effect.
Both Bills which scaled second reading are sponsored by Senators Umaru Tanko Al-Makura (APC, Nasarawa South) and Suleiman Abdu Kwari (APC, Kaduna North).
Leading debate on the bill to establish the Federal University of Lafia Teaching Teaching Hospital, said the Bill seeks to facilitate the clinical training of medical students that will be of internationally acceptable standards by the University.
According to the lawmaker, the Federal University of Lafia (FULAFIA) has already set a College of Medicine and received the approval of the National Universities Commission to admit medical students in the 2020/2021 academic session.
He added that, “in preparation for the take-off the Teaching Hospital which will be required clinical training of medical students of the University, the Nasarawa State Government has donated a newly built Hospital in Lafia and also agreed to handover the Dalhatu Specialist Hospital (DASH) to the University to be used as facilities for the take-off of the proposed Teaching Hospital in the interim.
“This essence of this Bill is therefore to provide the legal framework for the operation of the proposed Teaching Hospital for clinical training of medical students of the College of Medicine, Federal University, Lafia,” Al-Makura said.
The lawmaker stressed that the Teaching Hospital when established will not only serve as a training ground for medical students but also offer specialized tertiary healthcare Services to patients within the State and indeed other patients referred to it from other parts of Nigeria.
“Similarly, bearing in mind that the few Teaching Hospitals and other tertiary health centres within the North Central Zones are already overwhelmed by referrals for tertiary healthcare services, the proposed Teaching Hospital when established would therefore compliment specialized tertiary healthcare services offered by the few Teaching Hospitals within the North Central geopolitical zone such as the Jos University Teaching Hospital (IUTH).
He said: “This Bill should therefore be seen as another legislative response to our ongoing efforts to improve medical training, expand existing medical facilities and generally improve on healthcare service delivery across the three levels of public health service delivery in Nigeria against the backdrop of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“I Wish to state that in compliance With Order 77(3) of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015 as amended, this Bill when passed Will have no immediate financial burden on the Federal Government treasury as the facilities for the immediate takeoff of the proposed Teaching Hospital for the Federal University, Lafia and its Management Board have been donated by the Nasarawa State Government.”
The bill was referred to the Committee on Health after scaling second reading.
Meanwhile, the Senate on Wednesday also considered the Federal College of Crop Science and Food Technology, Lere (Establishment, etc.) Bill 2019.
Sponsor of the bill, in his lead debate, said “the immediate advantage of this institution is that farmers and potential investors from the catchment areas will have the capacity to get the full value chain from their produce, rather than selling just the raw materials and thereafter importing finished products.”
He added that Students will be able to study local and other world’s major food, feed, turf, and fiber crops and their environment, as well as learn the study of breeding, genetics, production, and management.
The bill after consideration was referred by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on Agriculture and Productivity to report back within four weeks.