In the Pro-Chancellor’s Address last year at the Maiden Convocation of our University on 22nd October 2016, I pointed out that by the events of that day, the University had attained maturity and truly come of age. At this our Second Convocation today, we can proudly beat our chests in happiness and joy on our ability to have produced our second set of graduates on time. It is therefore with tremendous pleasure that I commence this address by congratulating all the graduates who will be formally leaving this university today. I also wish to congratulate the Vice-Chancellor of the Institution, the Senate which she leads, as well as the Deans of Faculties, Heads of Departments and indeed, all staff for making this day a reality.
In the past year, Council has taken several actions that are aimed at improving the welfare of staff and students as well as enhancing scholarly activities in the University. Council was able to streamline the appointments of all staff and reviewed the various documents that stipulate the conditions of service of all category of staff. This process has led to the proper placement of staff and has addressed a major source of discontent with all the protests and rancour that originated therefrom. Furthermore, Council has now produced an extant document in which the conditions of service of all staff of this University are clearly stated. This will make the placement of staff at employment exercises uniform, fair and free of bias. Council was also able to act on the recommendations from its Appointment and Promotion Committee and concluded the promotion exercise of all staff for 2016. This means that there is no staff promotion that is pending in this university- an action which council regards as a great feat. Council therefore expects all staff to reciprocate this gesture by putting in their best in the services of the University.
In our academic work, following approval from council, there is a heightened pace of construction work of classrooms and lecture theatres designed to enable the university to function better and to meet the National Universities Commission’s requirements for the accreditation of some of our courses that received interim accreditation during the last exercise. We have also enhanced our library holding of standard books and journals as requiredand would be interviewing staff for employment to improve our staff/student ratio. With all this, it is our expectation that we would scale through the next accreditation exercise without problems.
With regards to the perennial financial difficulty in which our University finds itself, Council has continued to use all legal means to see how this could be improved upon. Its frequent interactions with agents of the federal government on this matter seems to be bearing fruits as a couple of months ago, the federal government inaugurated the Professor Bamiro committee with a mandate to examine the utilization of the takeoff grants that were given to the 12 new universities that were established in 2011 and 2013, ours inclusive, and to make recommendations on how these universities could be better funded. We understand that this Committee would soon submit its report with far reaching recommendations which, we expect will be to the advantage of the respective institutions. Furthermore, with the approval of Council, our university has formed an Association with the 11 other federal universities that were established between 2011/2013, known as The Big 12, to establish common grounds through which the 12 universities could jointly pursue their legitimate aspirations. Council is expecting several positive things to happen through this association.
As can be seen, this year’s Convocation is being held at our permanent site in Felele, even though with make shift structures. The exercise underscores the determination of council to do all in its power to enable the university to operate from its permanent site as soon as possible. Council is of this view because of the restriction in space at our take-off site which is hampering further expansion of the institution. For our university to grow and increase its academic programmes and intake of students as well employ fresh staff, the University needs to expand its infrastructure, which can no longer be accommodated at its take-off site. I therefore seize this opportunity to call on all well-meaning individuals who can assist us in achieving this noble objective in the shortest possible time to come to our aid.
What is left is for me to thank the Federal Government and our dear Chancellor His Royal Highness Alhaji (Dr.) Muhammadu Abali Ibn Muhammadu Idris, CON, the Emir of Fika and Chairman, Yobe State Council of Chiefs for the care and guidance over the past year. We wish to assure everyone that the Council would continue to superintend the affairs of this university in a responsible manner. We also wish to take this opportunity to publicly extend our best wishes to our pioneer Registrar and Secretary to Council, Mrs. Habiba Anavoza Adeiza who concluded her tenure as the Registrar of the University and the Secretary to Council. At the same time, we welcome the new Registrar and Secretary to Council, Mallam Usman Suleman Obansa and wish him a successful tenure of office.
I welcome everyone to this Convocation and I wish you God’s guidance and protection as you return to your destinations at the end of the Convocation.
Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council
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