The Honourable Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has urged the Vice Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Prof. Kabir Bala to pursue the options of individual and corporate endowments as a means of enhancing funding for the institution.
The Minister gave this advice when a delegation from the University led by the Vice Chancellor paid a courtesy visit to the FCTA last week.
While responding to the issue of alumni support through endowment raised by the Vice Chancellor, Malam Bello said it was an option that had not been fully implemented and encouraged the Vice Chancellor to fully exploit its possibilities and potential. He said: “The issue of university funding came up at a forum and alumni support was very prominent. This included endowments by people who are well to do and endowments by companies. I think it’s not something that has been well implemented and I’m sure that during your tenure, if you continue the way you are doing, you will encourage more people through the way of endowment for educational institutions to give back, as part of giving back to the society”.
The Minister said that the FCT Administration will also explore the option of working closely with the Consultancy Services arm of the University for the provision of needed professional expertise. “There are lots of areas where we need expertise and I’m sure you will have it, whether it’s in survey, town planning, urban renewal and so on,” he said.
He noted that the FCTA has been trying to encourage and improve on our enforcement activities. “For instance, our testing capacities for materials, so that we will be able to test what people are using either in constructing the roads of the FCT or the public buildings and even private buildings. I assure you that we will continue to provide you the needed support by consulting you,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Vice Chancellor of ABU said that the FCT Minister was one of the most distinguished members of the institution’s alumni and the meeting was intended to reach out to members such as him. He said: “We are lucky to have distinguished members of Alumni in this country and in Diaspora and they are major stakeholders. Alumni anywhere in the world are major stakeholders of universities and the Hon. Minister happens to be one of those distinguished members of alumni of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria”. The Vice Chanellor admitted that the University has not kept close contacts and communications with its alumni whom he described as major stakeholders in the university and that when he assumed office a year ago he decided to redress this by keeping close contacts with this important stakeholder group. The Vice Chancellor revealed that the university requires a lot of resources to manage the institution which he said currently has a student population of about 60,000 and needs to provide more facilities such as hostels, laboratories, classrooms and theaters.
Prof Kabiru Bala said that the university has capacities that can be exploited through its Consultancy Services company to generate the much needed revenue and revealed that the ABU had done a lot in the Federal Capital Territory, including its work on its master plan, development of some of districts, town planning and engineering services.
Also present at the courtesy visit were the University Registrar, Malam Abdullahi Ahmed Kundila ; Managing Director of the ABU Consultancy Services Ltd, Dr Umar Farouk Yaya; the Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister, Malam Bashir Mai-Bornu; Provost, FCT College of Education Zuba, Dr Gambo Hamza; the Director, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, TPL Zaliha’u Ahmed and other senior staff of the FCTA.