Nile Varsity And Nigeria’s Quest For Science-based Economy

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Tertiary level education forms the bedrock of high level manpower development. This highlights the need for a qualitative education at this level. There is a dearth of instructions and infrastructure to cater for the needs of an ever-increasing secondary school leavers. It is imperative for the private sector to take initiatives in the areas of providing tertiary education, especially for an organization that has a record of providing high quality education.

The Nigeria Turkish Nile University (NTNU) was established in 2009, by the First Surat Group to advance and develop capacity for the growing number of secondary school leavers seeking upper and tertiary education in Nigeria.

The resolve to set up NTNU was incubated by parents and students of the Nigeria Turkish International Colleges (NTIC), to carry on with the tradition of the academic standards of the colleges at the tertiary education level.

However, First Surat Group (FSG) founded the Nile University and secured due process accreditation from relevant regulatory agencies like the National Universities Commission (NUC), and in the Faculty of Engineering, with departments under it like the Department of Petroleum and Gas, Chemical, Computer, Civil, and Electrical Electronics Engineering.

The Faculty of Applied Science has the Department of Physics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Mathematics etc. Then Faculty of Arts, Management and Social Sciences, where you have the departments of Accountancy, Banking and Finance, Economics, Political Science and International Relations, Business Administration, English and Literature, respectively.

The university since inception had four convocation ceremonies, where it graduated thousands of students from various disciplines especially in the science and technology sectors that the country requires to build technical enterprises.

At its third convocation lecture, the former External Affairs Minister and later Nigerian permanent representative at the United Nations, Professor Ibrahim Gambari presented a provocative and innovative research paper titled, “ Nigeria At Home and Abroad: Dynamics of Nation Building in An African Context.”

He said, “I feel highly honoured to be invited to present the historic Convocation Lecture marking the graduation of the third set of the Nigerian –Turkish Nile University, Abuja. I would like to begin this lecture by thanking the vice chancellor and the Governing Council and Senate of the University for the good work they are doing in Nigeria to strengthen bilateral relations between my country- the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the State of Turkey. I would also seize this opportunity to thank the vice chancellor and the Governing Council and Senate of the university for the opportunity to share my thoughts on, such a germane and topical national issue as ‘Nigeria at Home and Abroad: Dynamics of Nation Building in an African Context’ with your largely youthful graduating and continuing students. The title of this lecture firstly stems from the fact that it is one of the grey areas of Nigeria’s domestic and foreign policies which succeeding successive administrations from independence to date have so much invested in, through statecraft and the imperatives of sustaining, integrating, uniting and stabilizing our social, political and economic systems – given the country’s religious, cultural, and lingual diversity and pluralism. Secondly, as a retired academician and now doubling as a retired Nigerian and global diplomat, I intend to altruistically give back to fellow Nigerians from my stock of world best practices by provoking deeper thoughts on the subject; considering more importantly that most of the graduating students would sooner than later be absorbed into Nigeria’s labour market either as policy or decision-makers – where they are likely to be confronted with some of the tasking and challenging issues in this presentation.

“Thirdly, I am inspired by the famous book by the Austrian Philosopher – late Professor Karl Popper, titled, ‘The Open Society and its Enemies.’  While Karl Popper’s book was concerned with identifying and analysing the Enemies of the Open Society (democratic society), my address will deal to some extent with the Enemies of the Nigerian State – encompassing certain groups of people who committed to certain behavioural patterns as well as certain phenomena or traits, which taken together, constitute serious dangers to the corporate existence and efficient functioning of the Nigerian state in its continuum to nationhood. Fourthly and most importantly, in the age of globalization and virtually 55 years after the British colonial officials transferred sovereignty and political independence to our founding fathers, Nigeria is still not out of the ‘woods’. This ought to be a matter of concern to any patriotic Nigerian. Therefore, there is the need to re-appraise the dynamics of our journey so far in the nation building process, so that we are able to identify and differentiate functional dynamics from negative dynamics. The objective in effect, is to do better in the days ahead, and thus leave a better legacy for generations unborn.”

The 2016 and fourth convocation ceremony of the university also witnessed standard research and paper presentations that are today applied by many Nigerians in the manufacturing and industrial sectors for sustainable growth and development.

The university has since inception produced quality graduates and maintained standards in its academic work, just as it has ensured the provision of physical infrastructure and equipped laboratories and libraries for students.

The vice chancellor of the University, Professor Huseyin Sert had at different forum reiterated the resolve of the institution to ensure quality at all times, while urging the students and potential intakes to be discipline and law abiding as their integration into the secular society is fundamental.

 — Oko wrote in from Abuja.

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