THE University of Jos Alumni Association (UJAA) last weekend organised a Dinner Night in honour of two of its members; Prof Richard Kimbir, current Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (AUM) and Prof. Tor Iorapuu, incumbent Vice Chancellor, Benue State University (BSU), Makurdi.
In his remarks, the chairman of the occasion, himself an alumnus of the University of Jos; Prof Agbo Madaki, urged members to get involved in UJAA activities at the Chapter level and also support the Exco to attain lofty heights as the university has honed their innate skills to become men and women of influence in the society.
Madaki also called on well-to-do UJAA members to assist upcoming members at finding their feet in society, stating that social networking is also key to bridging and levelling social and interpersonal gaps.
UJAA National President, Pastor Sani Nuhu, in his remark said apart from supporting their Alma Mater, their priority was to construct and commission the UJAA Alumni Center. He said about 300 million naira was needed to complete phase 1 of the project. He thanked the Benue branch of UJAA for successfully hosting the event and expressed joy that their expectations were met.
In his remark, UJAA Chairman, Benue State chapter, Dr David Bauchi, said the essence of the dinner night was to bring together Josites as one family and to celebrate Prof. Richard Kimbir and Prof. Joseph Tor Iorapuu for making UniJos proud through their appointment as Vice Chancellors of UAM and BSU respectively.
He disclosed that apart from the two Vice Chancellors who were honoured, UJAA had also produced another VC at BSU in the past, in the person of Prof. Mrs Charity Angya.
Speaking on the Role Alumni Associations in the Socio-economic Development of Nigeria, Guest Lecturer at the event, J. S. Okutepa SAN, said the responsibility of Alumni Associations in developing Nigeria is higher than that of political leaders as they have to exhibit leadership skills. He urged Josites to be patriotic citizens wherever they find themselves by eschewing ethnicity, nepotism, sectionalism and religious bigotry.
On her part, Chairlady of the occasion and former Vice Chancellor of the Benue State University, Prof. Charity Angya, encouraged Josites to take the activities of UJAA seriously to strengthen it. Prof. Angya advised that apart from going to their various places of worship, UJAA should be their next priority.
Other prominent Josites who graced the occasion were Principal Special Assistant to Governor Samuel Ortom on Culture and Tourism, Chief Tahav Agerzua, Chairman, Local Government Service Commission, Dr Bem Melladu, UJAA PRO, Mr Lubem Tiav, who anchored the event and many others.
Highlights of the event were the decoration of the Honourees and presentation of Awards of Excellence to them. While Prof. Iorapuu received the award himself, Prof. Kimbir was represented by UJAA State Vice Chairman, Dr Mrs Clara Guma, and Okutepa SAN was also decorated as a mark of honour.
Over 70 pupils of Islamiyya school in Tegina town who were kidnapped by armed bandits in Niger State have been released by their abductors.
The pupils, PRNigeria reported, were abducted from their school premises in June.
A security source told PRNigeria that the students are on their way to Minna en route Kagara from Birnin Gwari.
The Islamiya pupils were held for 88 days and 11 hours according to the timeline of the days and time they have spent in the bandits’ captivity.
PRNigeria has been publishing counts-up since the abductions of some pupils and students in Northern Nigeria. The Abducted students of Yauri Federal Government College (FGC) have been in captivity for 70 days while the remaining abducted students of a Baptist School in Kaduna will be spending their 52nd days in captivity.
One of the three girls who escaped from Boko Haram captivity in 2014, Mary Katambi has graduated with an accounting degree, on Saturday, July 10, alongside other 474 students who also obtained various degrees from the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola.
Katambi was one of the 276 schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists in 2014 from their hostel rooms at Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Chibok in Borno state.
Ecstatic former Nigeria’s Vice President who doubles as the founder of the institution, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said Katambi has beaten the odds to become a graduate seven years after her abduction by Boko Haram.
“Mary Katambi, I’m proud that seven years after your release from Boko Haram captivity, you’ve beaten the odds to graduate with a degree in accounting from the American University of Nigeria. The best years are still ahead of you,” Atiku said on his Facebook handle.
During its 12th commencement ceremony, the university awarded one Doctor of Philosophy, 38 masters degrees, 3 postgraduate diplomas and 433 bachelor degrees.
Margee Ensign, the President of AUN, in her remark challenged the graduands to be good ambassadors of the institution.
She expressed optimism that with the kind of training and mentorship they received, they will excel in their chosen careers urging them to make both their parents and institution proud.
Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank Group in his keynote address charged the graduating students to extol the virtues of selflessness, justice, equity and fair play.
He urged Nigerians to embrace unity and patriotism adding that “our diversity should be our source of strength.”
According to him, had Nigeria managed its diversity well, the country would have become a haven of development and prosperity, drawing an analogy with Singapore doing excellently well despite its diverse cultures, religions, and ethnicities.
He called for the opening of more space for youth participation in governance, economy and all other spheres of life noting that Nigeria’s major challenge lies with the creation of predominantly rich and predominantly poor classes of citizens.
While calling on actors and policymakers to dedicate more energy to agriculture, Adesina said the sector is the biggest asset that can bail Nigeria out of the woods.
He assured of African Development Bank’s readiness to invest heavily in the agricultural sector to raise productivity by supporting women to access land and other implements.
The founder of the University, Atiku Abubakar, in response to Dr Akinwumi Adesina, advocated for the African Development Bank to consider supporting the private sector more in agribusiness.
Alhaji Abubakar who own a microfinance bank says the bank has lifted 45 thousand families out of poverty and called on the bank to assist the women in agriculture.
Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika presents the Concept Note for the establishment of the African Aviation and Aerospace University Abuja to the Executive Secretary National Universities Commission, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed
The quest by the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Aviation, to establish an Aviation and Aerospace University has been boosted by the assurance of the National Universities Commission (NUC) to expedite action on the concept document submitted by the Minister of Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika.
Executive Secretary, National University Commission, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed who gave the assurance after receiving the note from the Minister, said the commission will engage some professors to perfect the concept note for immediate approval.
A statement by the Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation, Dr James Odaudu quotes the Executive Secretary as saying: “I can assure you that by the end of the month (July), we are going to have a brand new University, the first of its kind in Abuja, first African University dedicated to aviation and aerospace study in the country”.
According to the Executive Secretary, the value of such university can’t be quantified and commended the Minister for his boldness and courage.
“This aviation under your guidance, will be the first to show the way that we can support the establishment of specialized university that won’t only serve us but serve the African region and the International community”. He stated.
Presenting the Concept Note earlier, Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika who was accompanied by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Directors and Heads of Agencies, said that the ‘African Aviation and Aerospace University Abuja’ will be dedicated to research and development of knowledge in Aviation and Aerospace.
The Minister stated that the decision to establish the specialised university was informed by the need to fill some identified gaps in the growth and development of the aviation sector.
“When we took the leadership in civil aviation, we identified and understood the gap in the growth and development of civil aviation in Nigeria in particular and Africa in general. We are deficient in research and development in civil aviation and aerospace technology and that has caused a lot of underdevelopment of the sector and made us to be backward”
Sirika further said that the huge gaps and deficiencies have left the Civil Aviation sector to be managed with basic knowledge of either being a pilot or aircraft maintenance engineer, with no one going into research and development to understand the Civil Aviation and Aerospace industry to grow it for our own betterment and leverage on the sector to recreate the economy, improve the wellbeing, add to the GDP and most importantly to expend knowledge horizon of Nigerians.
“We have been working three to four years now into this and we developed a concept note based on the advice by Executive Secretary NUC for critique and that will fast track the process of setting up the University. We come up with concept note of what will be the focus of this University” he explained.
He added that “the potential of this University to serve the market of civil aviation and aerospace within the continent cannot be overemphasized. Once the University takes off, a lot will happen and it will change the dynamic”.
Sirika expressed gratitude to the Executive Secretary and his team for guiding the process leading to the submission of the concept note, and the assurance that it will be expeditiously concluded.