Katsina-South Senatorial Zone, especially, Funtua town, easily the largest local council in the entire zone from which local government councils namely Faskari, Sabuwa, Dandume, Danja and Bakori were created, remains the most neglected in terms of presence of educational institutions. Although, there are many institutions of higher learning in Katsina State, none of them is situated in Funtua town or Funtua Senatorial zone. All of these important institutions are either located in Katsina-Central or Daura zone.
These include Umar Musa ‘Yar’adua University (Katsina-central ), Federal College of Education (Katsina-central), Hassan Usman Polytechnic (Katsina-central), Al-qalam University (Katsina-central ), School of Nursing (Katsina-central )National Open University (Katsina-central ), Federal University, Dutsinma (Katsina-central ), Isah Kaita College of Education (Katsina-central ), School of Health, Kankia (Daura zone), Yusuf Bala School of Legal and Islamic Studies (Daura zone), School of Health Daura (Daura zone) and the Institute of computer Technology (Katsina-central ).
This is in addition to health centres like the Federal Medical Centre (Katsina-central), and the state Orthopaedic Hospital (Katsina-central) amongst several other developmental projects.
With this, people of the zone are at a great disadvantage in terms of employment opportunities, admissions and contracts. Little wonder then that Funtua zone has a lot of unemployed youths who bereft of opportunities resort to political thuggery and other forms of crime.
It is important to note that unlike in Katsina State, federal projects are evenly distributed in other states of the federation so as to confer sense of belonging to component parts of each state. For example most tertiary health institutions such as Federal Medical Centers are located outside the state capitals since most federal and state medical colleges have their teaching hospitals situated in the state capitals. Even some of the nine universities established by the Jonathan administration in states without federal universities, were established outside state capitals.
It is a well-known fact that state governments statutorily hold land titles and as such anytime the federal government conceives of projects to be sited outside the federal capital territory, state governors are usually consulted and they decide where such projects are sited.
It is in this regard that I am passionately calling on the Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari, to consider Funtua Senatorial Zone for the location of the Federal University of Aviation and the federal polytechnic as being proposed by the federal government. I urge our elder statesmen, traditional rulers and elected representatives to also lend their voices to this important clamour.
It would be recalled that during his maiden visit to the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, the then newly appointed Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed that the federal government was desirous of establishing an Aviation university in the country. According to the Minister, the aviation university will be different from NCAT, as it will be fully into research and development and production of higher level management manpower need of the industry. The zone being gateway to the North-West geo-political zone has suitable topography and expansive land for the take-off of such institutions. Its proximity to the premier college of aviation technology in Zaria, Airforce Institute of Technology in Kaduna and the two international airports in Kano and Sokoto respectively would be an added advantage.
Haruna Hassan wrote from the Department of Mass Communications, Bayero University, Kano, and can be reached at: Harunafuntua81 @gmail.com