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We’ll mark 20 years anniversary, unveils documentary , NSUK convocation, February 2022- VC

Professor Suleiman Bala Mohammed
Professor Suleiman Bala Mohammed

By Francis Nansak

The Vice Chancellor , Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Professor Suleiman Bala Mohammed on Wednesday in an interview disclosed that NSUK is 20 years from establishment since 2001.In this interview with our correspondent, he reveals key successes recorded by the university, while expressing optimism on research and innovation embarked upon as exhibited during the 6th Annual research Fair and Exhibition- Excerpt.

VC sir, when you came on board 2 to 3 years ago, you reeled out a 5 point agenda, can you boast of achieving 50% on that?

Thank you very much. Yes, I think mid way to my tenure and based on the work plans that we set out at the beginning, I can said with all sense of pride that we are very grateful to the Almighty God .We have not accomplished all what we said we re to do but we are clearly on course and it appears that we shall deliver on that mandate. And I will give you a few examples. On infrastructure development, we will show you some of the things we are doing here. After this admin block, there is a Five storey Senate building that is coming up ,if you go into our cross3 ,there is a phase 1 of the Medical College that is also coming up and if you go down, there is a twin laboratory complex that we are constructing. In Gudi, we are constructing a central workshop for the Engineering programme. If you go to Lafia ,we are constructing classrooms and there are a number of others the we have lined up, which are also coming up. So on infrastructure I am confident that we have done well.

And by the end of my tenure the infrastructural landscape of the university would have change considerably.Number2,on the new programmes, I told you earlier, we are not yet there but at least we have gone far and in a couple of months, we should be able to fly the approval from NUC, to say yes! We ve an approval and therefore the program will commence. We are very diligent and we are working carefully, but very sure of delivering on this progress. Thirdly, on ICT, we said ICT will have to drive teaching and learning. We are also making some good progress, today, we’ve an ICT center that is over 1000 seating capacity which is fully furnished” in fact when we invited JAMB to come and do exams here, they told us that our center is the best in Nasarawa State. But still, we are not yet there. You mentioned the accomplishment you saw with our cyber space during the Research Fair and exhibition. yet we still believe that we are not yet there, we are hoping that we are going to improved on our ICT infrastructure, we will ensure that there is campus interconnectivity. That is so far on that mandate. The fourth area which we have taken is we have declared that this university will be a student friendly university. And I am very happy to tell you that on that score we ve been organizing SUG elections and indeed elections into students bodies, whether states, whether local governments, ethnic, departmental or faculties elections. We have been organising free, fair and very Democratic elections here. we have also ensure that there is a level o openness, where students are free to raised issues and complains if any.so we believe that what we have done has really given our students a sense of confidence in us and the university management is also friendly in attending to their needs and aspirations. The Fifth and probably the final area on my agenda is in the area of fighting unethical conducts, which we made commitment and we consequently launched the Whistleblower policy and told the students that whatever they see ,they should say it and we have made steady progress on that. We have number of reports and there are a number of actions we have taken, as well as feedbacks we got which shows that the cases are on the decline.

Prof sir, in view of standard which you have always lay emphasis on, what picture of a university do you have in mind for NSUK?

Yes, we have always talked about the 21st century university, which at the moment we are nurturing. A 21st century university is a university that is ICT ,a university that addresses the socioeconomic and technological challenges of the society.it is a university that train graduates who are globally competitive, who can really serve anywhere in the part of the world and they can prove their competency and expertise. That is clearly the goals that we have .And this university have had a good foundation. If you look at the university, you will see that it is clearly universal in character and orientation, our staff composition without fear of contradictions, no state university in Nigeria can have the cosmopolitan nature of staff that we have .our staffing clearly is national in character.

Nasarawa State University was established 20 years ago, what plans and programmes do you have in respect to the anniversary as an institution?

Like you rightly said, yes this university is 20 years this year from it establishment in 2001,we surely have series of programmes to mark the anniversary, because 20 years in the life of any institution is not a joke and we are planning to design some activities to take place with our convocation in February 2022.Number one, we are planning to unveil a book on the university, title; ” GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT of the UNIVERSITY” we want to unveil it during that time. we have also done some collaboration with some universities in Poland and we have some literature written by some polish scholars, which they gave us the right and we have translated ,so we will unveil those books which covers the areas of suicide, criminology and others. We are going to convene a stakeholders meeting, being the third ,while we invite the government, traditional rulers, students, their parents ,journalists and other critical university critical stakeholders, where we can give them a balanced sheet of the university for 20 years .We are looking with great expectations that in February, we will have our convocation, which was aborted two years ago because of the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

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VC sir, quite a number of persons expected that your last matriculation would have students that are admitted to study medicine and engineering but their expectation was cut short. What is really hindering the take up of those programs?

I think without any hindrances we are on course. So far ,so good, you would recalled that we intimated you that one, we have established stirring committees for the two programs. For Medicine, the Medical Director of FMC Keffi is the chairman of that committee and for Engineering, we have the Executive Director , NASENI as the chairman. We have also identified sites, for engineering, it is our campus at Gudi and for Medicine, we are restructuring the former faculty of Environment, but there is a Phase1 of the Medical College that we are building in our cross3 .What next which we have not done is about staffing. However, we have advertised, we ve shortlisted ,so we are hoping to call them for interview and select our target so that they can resume work may be in January. or February next year. If we do that we would have already dealt with the issue of staff .For Engineering, we have massive equipment and we have also given contract of about One Billion Naira(#1b)for the purchase of engineering and medical equipment. So hopefully by next year, we are going to invite NUC to do resource verification for engineering and for Medicine, then COREN to do resource verification for engineering as well as invites Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to come and do resource verification for medicine ,after which they will give us approval to commence the programs.

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