Keeping faith with the vision
“If you want to travel fast then travel alone. If you want to go far travel together.”----African Proverb
(preface to our 2015 Annual Report)
For the Federal University of Technology, Minna, the Year 2015 has been a very fulfilling one both in terms of the tempo of academic activities and in the welter of achievements recorded across units, departments and faculties. Quite in contradistinction to the laid back ambience of its two campuses, this foremost technology training institution had never really stopped growing – in numbers of students, numbers of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, numbers of buildings, numbers of courses as well as research programmes.
It is perhaps a tribute to the shared responsibility mantra of the Prof. Musbau Akanji-led administration that the 2015 annual report offers an introspective perspective of an institution committed to promoting academic excellence through autonomous intellectual rigour as well as sustained collaboration and partnerships. Across virtually all units, departments and faculties, the ringing refrain of partnerships was loud and clear. This ought not to be surprising as collaboration and innovation had been described as being at the heart of some of human kind’s greatest moments of progress.
Among the institutional stakeholders driving this process is the Academic Planning Unit that has been thoroughly effected to perform its responsibilities and ensuring that all programmes were in line with the regulations of the National Universities Commission (NUC). At the head of this critical unit is Prof. Y.A Yahaya who recently emerged the new Director and has fine-tuned the activities of the unit in line with international standards. Quite remarkably, the unit has been in the forefront of Management’s vision for a robust academic development. To ensure quality of its programmes, the unit, in the year took a prime role in programme accreditation, assessment of facilities and conducted assessment visits within the University and its affiliated institutions.
Another strategic department is the Registry which represents the hub of the university’s administrative system. Headed by Mrs V.N Kolo, MNIM, ACIPM, the department is readily the engine room of the institution’s non-academic operations. It is to the credit of the Registry that the automated academic transcript had now been put in place to fasten the issuance of the document. Incredibly, it now takes between 24 hours and 72 hours to collect a transcript as against the previous eight months or more. Today, the Registry now ensures the issuance of certificates on Convocation Day!
As the university invested in its human resources through capacity building and manpower development, so did it devote funds to changing the physical landscape of the institution. Driving the university’s physical development programme is the Physical Planning and Development Unit. While there are many ongoing projects in 2015, five of the projects were completed, commissioned and put into use.
The completed projects included the Electronic Testing Centre Phase II (ETC), the Lecture Theatre donated by CAVERTON Group of Company, the Security Office building, the relocation of the bus park on main campus which had been put into use and the West African Science and Services on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) initiative.
The Bursary Department is also treading the path of innovation with its introduction of online payment slips in line with the university’s ICT policy. It also deployed the use of a software for the computerisation of the university’s recurrent budget as well as for the preparation and upgrading of the budget and financial account software to ensure effective result.
A major achievement recorded by the university in the 2015 report was the commissioning of the seismic station it partnered on through its Centre for Disaster Risk Management and Development Studies (CDRMS&DS).The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) commissioned the FUT Minna Seismological Station at Lunko Village, Gidan Kwano, under the supervision of the centre. Interestingly, the centre also won a NEMA consultancy contract worth N6,480,000 in October 2014(later upgraded to N7,000,000). The centre headed by Prof. A.M Jinadu, also secured a partnership deal with the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy of Tulane University, USA. The initiative was to conduct training workshop on Disaster Resilience and worth $184,741 and sponsored by the Bill Gate Foundation and World Bank.
Another important unit is the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, a Step B founded Centre of Excellence headed by Dr Abdulkarim Ambali Saka. The centre was established to create an enabling environment comprising of modern functional equipment and adequately motivated manpower to achieve quality research and development in genetic engineering and biotechnology. It also ensured the development of suitable catalyst on different support for carbon nanotubes production—the first to produce carbon nanotubes in Nigeria.
In an internet age, the Information Technology Services (ITS) of the institution has been positioned to play a critical role in service delivery to the university community. With Dr Mohammed A. Adamu as helmsman, the unit in the previous year ensured the smooth running of the Post-UMTE of the institution. The unit also successfully effected the GLO fibre connection of the two campuses as well as the local area network and wireless coverage of the Bosso campus.
As an institution committed to the highest ideals of intellectual introspection and scholarship, the university’s seminars, workshops and inaugural lectures remain a reference point. The University Seminar and Colloquium Committee (US&CC) with Prof. Z. D. Osunde as Chairperson distinguished itself in 2015. In line with the mandate given, the committee organized eight inaugural lectures, six public lectures and one convocation lecture in 2015.
All the inaugural lectures were given by distinguished professors within the university. Four of the public lectures presenters came from both the private and public sector outside the university.
One of the presenters was a resident US Fulbright Scholar from Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA and the last public lecture was jointly presented by staff of School of Information and Communication Technology (SICT) and members of SECAN, Abuja.
To ensure adherence to standards, the Quality Assurance and Productivity Unit led by Prof. Adai S. Ibrahim, on its part, rallied efforts to promote a positive change in the attitude of staff members to their jobs. The unit also succeeded in reducing lateness to offices and classes, checking inappropriate students’ outfit within the campus through a dress code, improving instructional staff-student relationship while enforcing the use of Assignment of Responsibility Form (AOR) as an acceptable tool for assessment of instructional and academic activities.
The year 2015 was also a fulfilling one for many scholars of the institution, with 10 out of the 20 successful research proposals picked from 800 research proposals across the country submitted to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) for Institutional based Research Intervention (IBRI) won by staff members of the university. Remarkably too, the Training Guide International (TGI) and the university also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on students’ enrolment programme into international degrees abroad. This was also coming at a time that no fewer than 2,378 students from various departments concluded the SIWES Programme facilitated by the Industrial Liaison Unit and lasting between six and nine months.
The Students’ Affairs Division of the university was more than ever engrossed in the management of the affairs of the students. Among the Scholarship and Bursary Award matters treated during the 2015/2016 session in the Division were the Ajesola Solarin Majekodunmi Foundation (ASMAT’s) Scholarship Award and the 18 Total Scholarship Awards given out after confirming their registration status.
Again, three students represented the university at International Power and Automation Conference and Exhibitions held at Covenant University, Otta in September, 2015 through the effort of Students Affairs Division while educational opportunities for Nigeria scholarship award to befitting F.U.T. Minna students were facilitated. In the attainment of academic excellence, the university management was not oblivious of the place of adequate healthcare delivery on the campuses.
To promote seamless healthcare delivery, the University Health Services Department acquired two devices purposely to carry out the newly introduced Annual Medical Examination. They are the Semi-auto Chemistry Analyser and the Heamatology Analyser. This has yielded good results with ample opportunities of early detection of ailments.
Other achievements of the department included the procurement of a new ambulance in other improve the emergency service and the commencement of an eye clinic in Bosso campus.
The 2015 annual report in essence offers a kaleidoscopic reflection of the gains of the last one year under the Prof. Musbau Akanji –led administration. Invariably, it also points in the direction of the limitless opportunities presented before the leadership in the New Year, drawing strength from clarity of vision and a commonality of purpose.
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