The vice chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Professor Ibrahim Garba, has dismissed reports making the rounds in the social media that the institution’s 45, 300-Level students selected for the joint Bachelor’s degree in engineering programmes in Central South University, Changsha in China are children of ministers and top government functionaries.
Speaking at a farewell reception in Zaria yesterday for the students who are billed to leave for China on Monday, the Vice-Chancellor said there was no discrimination in the selection of the students as all of them were chosen based on merit. This was contained in a statement signed by the director, Public Affairs Directorate, Ahmadu Bello University, Dr Ismaila Shehu, shortly after the event at the University Assembly Hall, Samaru, Zaria.
Professor Garba said of the 45 students, 30 are being sponsored for the programmes by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and the other 15 are to be financed by Central South University, Changsha, China. He noted that the Chinese university, which started as China’s first railway college before it later became a full-fledged university, moved further in its gesture to ABU by providing study fellowships to 13 academic staff from the Faculty of Engineering for Masters and PhD programmes at the Chinese university.
The CCECC and South Central University, according to him, asked ABU for 90 students with higher CGPA for the selection interview out of which they chose 45 for their suitability.
Of the 45 students, he also said, 30 are from Department of Civil Engineering and 15 from Department of Mechanical Engineering, saying all of them are to spend two years to complete the programmes with different specialisation in civil engineering, traffic and transportation engineering as well as railway equipment and control engineering.
Turning to the students, the vice-chancellor urged them to be good ambassadors of the university in particular and Nigeria in general by being law-abiding all the time.
“Be of good conduct there; China is not Nigeria where you say sorry for breaking law and order; it is a country governed by law and order; and it is not part of our MoU with China for you to break law and order,” he said.
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