The vice chancellor of University of Abuja, Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’ Allah has vowed to make the institution join the league of world class universities.
Na’ Allah who spoke in a brief chat with LEADERSHIP while taking stock of the institution’s 2021 activities said the University rounded off the year in a grand style despite some challenges.
He expressed enthusiasm that it will continue to develop, strengthen academic development, build character and establish infrastructure, while affirming that his primary objective is to make it join the league of world class universities.
The university recently held an award day for 250 student workers who were graduating under the students’ employment scheme introduced by Na’Allah in 2019 to build the young workforce to meet the demands of sustainable manpower and human resources that the present and future generation required.
Sometimes in March 2021, 8 undergraduate students won research grants of 2.2million Naira to undertake research in their various fields of study while over 30 scholars in the University recently won a total of N1.1 billion grants in research and publishing this year.
Speaking on the feats, the vice chancellor said, “We are so excited this year 2021 with all our researchers who are making us proud, getting grants from all over the world, painstakingly doing research in different areas, and thereby helping to resolve problems for Nigeria, for humanity.
“It is the same feeling for our undergraduate students who are winning undergraduate research grants. What all of these scholars are doing will help showcase our hard work and intellectual force, and make the university visible on the global education map. Let me inform you that this N1.1 billion realised by the University of Abuja researchers mostly came from Europe.”
He added, ‘’It is also an indication that the University of Abuja has come to lead Nigeria. We are telling our scholars that we must set an example as a University that others must see us as the model university to emulate.
“We are telling our students and setting examples for them to begin in that form, setting the pace and always being ready to excel always. We have to show that academics is not just about teaching and going home, but research is also fundamental to the university, resolving problems for society is fundamental.”
Na’Allah also said his management has worked hard to build some infrastructure. “We commissioned no fewer than 15 development projects this year, which include road networks; Faculty of Agriculture Feed Mill; 500 capacity Lecture Theatre of the Faculty of Agriculture as well as Seminar rooms and offices; First Phase of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences; newly completed sports facilities including football pitch, basketball and Lawn tennis courts, dressing room.
He says his administration has also consistently demonstrated that it has zero tolerance for corruption and indiscipline. “We lead by example, showing our staff and students why they must exhibit excellent conduct at all times and in all that they do. We do not condone indiscipline in whatever guise. And all of these standards we are setting are paying off, I tell you.”
The vice chancellor believes that “if you knew what the university looked like a couple of years ago or you came here a couple of years ago, and you are here now, and you have objective mind, you would have noticed that we are not playing, that we are doing a lot of work to make this place have the status and character of university, at least that even befits the status of an institution in the federal capital territory.”
On what to expect in the coming year 2022 when he would be in the middle of his tenure, the VC said he look forward to providing and strengthening academic scholarship, world-class teaching and learning qualities, great and comforting staff and students’ welfare system, greater infrastructural development, virile moral standing as a University, higher and acceptable level of discipline that eliminates sexual harassment and uphold students and staff respect and honor.
“We shall also ensure high ranking status for the UofA as a first-rate and respected global University, aggressively building more student hostels and staff quarters on campus, strong, regular, accessible, functional and free high speed Internet and IT facilities on campus in which all Internet Cafes would be eliminated, prompt and non-intimidating services in the Registry, Bursary and all other units of the University for staff and students in ways that everyone gets processes started and completed timely and without favors! Of course there are more we hope to achieve.
“But the truth is that by next year, the fruits of our labour would have begun to show more clearly and where we are going will be very obvious to all and sundry in such a manner that we would be so unhappy to go back to our past ways, what the university used to be,” he added.