By ABUBAKAR YUSUF.
The current leadership and management of the University of Abuja, an ivory tower sitting conspicuously at the centre of Nigeria under and erudite scholar and Professor of literary studies, Abdulrasheed Na’Allah will be three years on July 1st , 2022.
Appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2019 after the expiration of the tenure of his predecessor, Professor Micheal Adiukwu who had spent five year mandatory tenure at the helms of affairs of the institution.
Armed with intimidating and impressive resume/ experience, Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah before his appointment was two time Vice- Chancellor, Kwara State University, Malete ,a state owned institution where he had turned around both physical, academic and administrative areas towards the promotion and sustenance of academic excellence in over one decade ivory tower.
Three years at the mantle of leadership, Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah had implemented what past administrators including the convener of the institution could not achieve, after three decades of the establishment of the University.
Not untill his assumption of duty, the movement policy from the temporary or old campus of the institution in Gwagwalada to the new permanent site was as low as 20% , but within his period as the new Vice Chancellor, he was able to achieve 100% in both movement of structures, programs, and activities to the new site, to address any unforseen circumstances, logistics problems among many others.
Apart from the students hostels and the school of Preliminary studies, the entire programs of the University are now concentrated at the permanent site, attracting more development of not only the University interms physical development, seamless academic activities, but administrative convenience and security amid rising and palpable security situations in Nigeria.
This singular decision and achievements of the new leadership under Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah had also reduced to the barest minimum the incidence of students unrests, anti social activities, drug abuse, hooliganism and other vices that was prevalent in the institution before his assumption of duty.
The double edged advantage of the decision to move all the existing faculties and departments to the permanent site reduced the lingering problems of accomodation by the students to the barest minimum having provided more accomodation at the permanent site as well as reduced human interference to accomodation process and acquisition by students.
With determination and zeal to provide the needed infrastructural development, he embarked on all round development of the staff offices both academic and non academic, library, laboratory, lecture halls in line with the requirements of the National University Commission NUC that led to accreditation of all the courses presented by the institution.
The vision of the founding fathers of the institution to make it a prestigious citadel of learning was gradually being implemented by the current leadership in the staffing, students records, as hitherto before his ascension, the exact number of students record of the University was shrouded in mystery, same as staffers and their categories, this is being done through a committee that will verify the staff strength and possibly recommend for more hands in line with the prevailing situations.
He recommended the ongoing perimeter fencing of the large acre of land of the institution spanned from the airport road to Gwagwalada to discourage the incessant encroachment of it’s land, secure the University environment from security threats and hired local vigilante to work along with the security department of the University and security agencies, inview of security threats from kidnappers, banditry and terrorists that is rampant in the country.
For the new University of Abuja under Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, the problem of identity and location for visitors was no longer feasible, as signposts are strategically placed about 1000 metres before and away from the citadel of learning, including a large one at the entrance, other faculties and departments of the University.
Gradually , the University of Abuja had extended it’s faculties, departments , and other services towards the airport junction with ongoing and completed projects scattered across all the departments of the institution beyond description and human imagination.
For the records, the hitherto admission policy and examination racketeering known about the University had been overtaking by the newly introduced electronic and online activities,as students records and activities is now being monitored seamlessly by people charged with carrying out the activities.
With the coming of the current administration in the University, many academic and non academic staffs have won academic and non academic prizes nationally and internationally,as the leadership is at home to encouraging all areas of academic and non academic advancement of the University.
Similarly, some academic and non- academic staffs involved in untoward activities against the students have been sacked to serve as deterrent to others, as the University management insisted of not condoning any affront particularly sexual harassment and inducements against female students that negates the code of conduct of the University.
This new wave of reprimand had discouraged the rampant attitude of sex for marks, inducement of lecturers in any way by students and other sharp practices that will compromise both the academic standards and policy of the new University of Abuja.
Na’Allah had created an enabling environment for workers, academic and non academic, students at all levels and streamlined the Centre for Distance Learning and Continuing Education CDLCE repositioned to conform with the current realities, unlike the previous order of being used as mere transit point to achieving academic certificates.
Though, the University like any other federal and some states institutions in Nigeria had been battling with strikes of the association’s in the schools, the University of Abuja within the period held the 25th, 26th convocation ceremony without hitches and with the presence of many academic staffs of the University, and indication of the readiness of ASUU to continue to work hand in hand with the current management of the University.
It is a rare achievements of the current leadership of the University to organize a successful convocation ceremony while the academic staffs are on strike and on no work no pay, this was an indication of the intentions of the University teachers to remain partners in progress with the current administration.
Inspite the strike, activities in the institution remained ongoing particularly physical and infrastructural development in the area of buildings, roads and other projects ongoing in the University, as passer-by or visitors need no description to identifying the humongous achievements of Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah.
With the untiring and unreserved determination of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, no doubt subsequent years is expected with more breakthroughs in all areas of development, powered by the current leadership as we move towards the fourth and fifth year of his administration.
The unperturbed, workaholic and award winning Professor of literary studies, knows no any other success and efforts geared towards improving the progress and development of the University of Abuja, as it moved gradually towards the fourth decade of it’s establishment.
Written By ABUBAKAR YUSUF, A Public Affairs Analyst From Abuja, All inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.