There is a seeming, but unintended paradoxical relationship between the Universities, of most developing countries and the governments and people they are expected to serve. On the one hand, the Universities are the citadel of learning and repositories of research based knowledge and technical expertise that can improve the quality of life of the residents and the productivity of urban and rural areas. On the other hand, most of the governments are simply groping in the dark due to lack of capacity, knowledge and expertise. As a result of this and other factors, the expected symbiosis in the relationship between the Universities and governments, are yet to be significantly developed.
It is against this background that the Vice-chancellor decided in January, 2008 to established the Advancement and Development Office (ADO), headed by an Executive Director to harness the University resources primary it four schools (Agriculture and Agriculture Technology, Environmental Technology, Engineering and Engineering Technology, and Science and Science Education) conduct actionable research that can assist Niger State and other states in its catchment areas to address their human settlements developments and management challenges, on a sustainable basis. Similarly its proximity to Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, gives the University the added advantage of being able to extend its expertise and services to the rest of the country through appropriate Federal Ministries, Parastatals and the National Assembly.
The principle underling factor in establishing the ADVANCEMENT and DEVELOPMENT Office is to effectively collect the various resources and harness them towards achieving goals of the University. With the decline in government funding for Universities it has become prudent for the University to source for funds for it developments. ADVANCEMENT and DEVELOPMENT Office has become paramount in mapping out strategies, cultivating cordial relationships with the Alumni, various corporate bodies and International bodies in achieving the set goals.
To serve as an agent of development and a catalyst in promoting stakeholders' and public participation in funding education.
To create a sense of proprietary pride in the University by all its stakeholders; and to establish corporate and private sources of funding for its pursuit of the higher standard in teaching, research and services, as well as in the maintenance of the best University tradition of scholarly integrity and independence.
1. The office organized an enlightenment campaign to keep the University community abreast of the programmes and importance of ADO by inviting the DirectorADO, University of Jos.
2. Putting in place the activities for the inauguration of Federal University of Technology, Minna Alumni Association by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mohammed Salihu Audu on the 1st day of November, 2008.
3. This was followed by election of the National interim Executive members of the Association, with Dr. Mojeed Ijaya (H.O.D.). Animal Production, Federal
University Technology, Minna) emerging as the interim National President of the association.
4. Mobilization of members:- A form was designed to facilitate the mobilization of every graduate, this started before my assumption of office and was anchored then, by the Staff of Student's Affairs Department and each graduate was made to pay a mandatory Alumni registration fee of one thousand naira (N1000:00) in the bursary and tenders his or her receipt to write his/her contact details before given the call up letter.
The registration form was therefore designed to have proper records of registered members when I assumed office. The entire data is then collated and used to build the Alumni data base which is currently available in ADO.
5. Based on the analysis of the data, a proposal was written to the University management that a minimum numerical strength of fifteen (15) registered members per state should be able to form a state branch of the Association and this was graciously approved by the management. Some state have met that requirement and these state include Kano, Kogi, Lagos, Niger, Rivers, Kaduna, Oyo, Katsina and F.C.T. Abuja. The management has given approval for these states to be visited to get the state branches started and the interim executive members of the Association have been informed about this.
6. As a motivation for registered members, the office saw the need to produce and give the Association's stickers to members as they register especially new graduates and two sets of these stickers were produced (one set of paper stickers and the other set of transparent stickers for cars) for members.
The Alumni Office as a unit in Advancement and Development Office (ADO) has so far achieved the following:
The office has succeeded in coming the state Alumni list using their state of origin which would be use for the establishment of state chapters.
Since the establishment of Federal University Technology Alumni Association, the office has been keeping in record the registration of the Alumnus which is still in progress.
The office has been able to provide Lagos state and Abuja, contacts of Alumni members residing in the state. This is to enable them establish s state chapter in the state which is presently on.
Also the Alumni office has been interacting with the students, enlightening them about the importance of the Association and its benefits like networking among members. The office is looking forward to provide hand bills for graduating students which would further give the Alumni more information about the association.
The office is proposing to provide the Alumni And the fresh students with souvenirs/gift items such as news letter for the incoming students while stickers, news letter on Alumni matter will be give to the graduating students. Shop would be provided where items like T-shirt, key holder, tea, mug, muffler, wrist band, wrist watch with the University log shirt tag (lapel pin) scarf with various school's colour, face cap and pendant for ladies e.t.c., be made readily available for sale.