Senate moves to give legal backing to French Village

The Senate has moved to give legal backing to the Nigerian French Language Village, Badagry, as a bill that seeks to legalise the institution has passed second reading.

The French Language Village, located in Badagry, has been in existence since 1991 but without any legal backing.

Efforts by the 8th Senate to legalise the institution was unsuccessful. The bill was then sponsored by Senator Gbenga Ashafa and was passed by the lawmakers but was not sent to the president to give his assent.

The Nigeria French Language Village bill was reintroduced by Senator Solomon Adeola, who represents Lagos West in the 9th Senate.

On Tuesday, November 8, the bill entitled, “A bill for an Act to provide for the Establishment of the Nigeria French Language Village as an Inter-University Centre for French Studies and other Matters Connected therewith, 2020” passed second reading.

In his lead debate, Adeola said, “The economic downturn of the 1980s coupled with the devaluation of national currency had made students participation in the year abroad programme extremely expensive and unbearable to parents and sponsors.

“The need to find acceptable and efficient alternative led to the establishment of the Village through a memo by the then government of General Ibrahim Babangida to operate under the National Universities Commission.”

Noting that Nigeria could not afford to lag behind in French Language proficiency among the comity of nations, Adeola said the institute was set up to equip all eligible and interested Nigerians with French skills across interpersonal relationship as well as take up employment slots meant for Nigerians at the global level”

After Senator Smart Adeyemi supported the bill and no senator opposed it, the bill was sent to the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institution and TETFUND for further legislative action.

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