Exclusive: Kogi Gov.  Seeks NUC’s Approval to Establish Second State University  

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Exclusive: Kogi Gov.  Seeks NUC’s Approval to Establish Second State University  
Nwolu Obiajulu

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State paid a private visit to the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, mni, MFR, FNAL, where he revealed the plan of his administration to float a specialised Confluence University of Science and Technology as its second state University.

Governor Bello said the idea behind the university, whose Bill had already been passed into Law by the State Assembly, was to have a specialised institution that addressed the peculiar needs of the state’s immediate environment. He noted that the existence of Ajaokuta Steel Complex, gave the state a description of a ‘mining hub,’ while others like the Dangote Cement Factory and the West African Ceramic factory made the location of such an institution a big treasure.

He said, “We have the right location and ambience to run the envisaged specialised Confluence University of Science and Technology with all the natural resources available around us.

“With the doggedness of the State House of Assembly and the political will of my government, we would within the limits of our state resources ensure that everything required is put in place for the university to flourish for the benefit of the citizens and Nigerians.”

According to the Governor, beyond the passage of its Laws, the state had opened a dedicated account through which the university would receive regular funding to ensure that it run on a smooth footing. He explained that over the years Nigerians, had been travelling abroad to acquire skills in these specialised areas when the country boast of the capacity to develop and train its people.

Gov. Bello told the executive secretary that the state had already gone ahead to solicit the support of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) towards its development and had received assurance of the agency’s willingness to assist. The university would be supported by many private individuals who had also showed enthusiasm to help, he stated.

He disclosed that his administration would undertake at least 70 per cent development of infrastructure for the university before the end of its tenure. He also said that the institution would take-off from the current School of Basic Studies.

He stated that the Academic Brief and the Master Plan documents were currently being tidied up by a group of experts, stressing that when completed the state government would present it to the Commission for the formal recognition of the university.

Responding to the Governor, Prof. Rasheed described as very apt the idea of the establishment of such a specialised university in Kogi, which truly captured the immediate need of its environment.

The executive secretary expressed NUC’s willingness and readiness to work with Kogi to establish the university. He said there was no need to go into research to acknowledge that the most strategic and basic needs of Kogi was the development of its Human Resources in these areas in view of the locations of such high-profile industries around it.

He also recounted that many applicants of Kogi origin yearly throng universities to seek for training in various fields including science and technology-related courses. Bearing this in mind, the establishment of a university that would address the scientific need of the state was a welcome development.

He advised the state to ensure that the Academic Brief and Master Plan be made flexible in order to provide for expansion on critical areas of science and technology, especially cutting-edge areas like specialised M.Sc programmes that would meet the yearnings of the Ajaokuta Steel and Dangote Cement factory.

He added, “We are committed to working with you to look at all facet of training in Engineering, Biotechnology, Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering.

The type of engineering courses you must run need to address challenges like Agriculture, Mining and Solid Minerals among other immediate needs of the state.”

He applauded the governor for the passage of the law, stating that as soon as the Academic Brief and Master plan are ready, NUC would do the needful.

He, however, reminded the governor of the need to make adequate arrangement for the sustainability of not only the specialised university, but the already existing Kogi state University at Ayingba.

 

This post was written by Nwolu Obiajulu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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