Senator Bilbis and the imperative of Tsafe health tech varsity

It is gladdening to observe that as Nigeria advances in the course of its affairs as a country of global reckoning, it recognises the imperative of refining the concept of tertiary education according to emerging specific needs of development.

With this conceptual refinement comes the growing establishment of tertiary educational institutions to address specific emerging needs for decisive solutions to certain problems of sections of the society and, to a growing extent, the entire Nigerian society.

For instance, an impressive string of specialised universities is now gaining establishment across the country to train the desired manpower, conduct broad range of researches and offer community services on specific courses of study that directly and squarely address growing problems of the various sections of the society.

This gladdening trend is facilitated by democratic governance where the bastion of democracy, the National Assembly, passes the desired bill for the establishment of any such university in a given section of the country, and the president of the country signs it into law.

And behold! The university comes on stream.

In this string comes the University of Health Sciences and Technology, Tsafe, Zamfara state, which is set to come on stream with the bill for the transformation of the Tsafe College of Health Sciences and Technology to a university status now waiting to be assented to by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Considering the growth and development of education in all its courses of discipline in Zamfara state, the establishment of the university would promote research, training, teaching of healthcare personnel for Zamfara state, the North-west, Northern Nigeria and the entire country.

The university is expected to support the efforts and initiatives of Zamfara state government by providing an advanced teaching and learning environment, and also upscale the capacity of healthcare workers and enhance their economic potential.

The motion for the bill establishing the university was first tabled by the exceptionally experienced politician cum public servant, Senator Ikra Aliyu Bilbis, who represents Zamfara Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly.

Senator Bilbis, as he initially tabled the motion, and tactically followed process of deliberations on the flow of the Senate to its final bill stage, was apparently appalled by the enormity of the problems caused by the lack of such a university in Zamfara and the entire North-west geopolitical zone, and, perhaps, recognised the need for more of such specialised universities across the country.

This legislative feat by Bilbis is an elating expression of a trend that should be set and sustained by the country’s parliamentarians in the purposeful discharge of their legislative duties for the development and prosperity of the country in its status as a country of global reckoning.

The Senate finally held a public hearing of the Bill for an Act to Establish the Federal University of Health Sciences and Technology, Tsafe on Monday, May 13, 2024.

A stern view of not only Zamfara state but the entire North-west and Northern Nigeria shows a growing need for the Tsafe university to complement the efforts of such of its sister specialised universities across the country.

The North-west, especially devasted by a seemingly unending terror in the form of the twin crimes of banditry and kidnapping, is severely weakened by the growing outbreak of diseases and the pathetic dearth of healthcare workers.

A substantial population of healthcare workers have either been killed or chased out of the state by the gunmen, further plunging Zamfara and the entire terror-troubled North-west into the depth of helplessness and haplessness with regard to adequate healthcare staff to address the growing precipitation of healthcare problems that threaten to attain an emergency state.

The World Health Organisation, WHO, benchmark is one doctor for 600 patients, but Nigeria has an ugly ratio of four doctors to 10,000 patients.

Nigeria, therefore, needs more health institutions to train doctors and other healthcare personnel, especially with the persistent flight of trained doctors and other medical personnel out of the country due to the Japa syndrome.

This underscores the imperative for the establishment of the Federal University of Health Sciences and Technology, Tsafe, Zamdara state.

Kabir Musa writes from