Prof. Njodi's Four Year Scorecard

Four out of the five year tenure of any administration is the right time to measure the successes or outcome of any such an administration, bearing in mind the prevailing situation and circumstances it came into power. It is on this perspective that I will like us to take a critical look and assess the performance of the Vice-Chancellor, University of Maiduguri, Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi who assumed the exalted office of the Vice-Chancellor of the University four years ago, precisely on the 3rd of June 2014.

Prof. Ibrahim A. Njodi
Vice-Chancellor, University of Maiduguri

Since his as Since his assumption of office four years ago Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi has been able to garner and attract the good will of not only members of the University of Maiduguri Community but the country and the international community at large towards moving the University to greater heights despite the security challenges that bedeviled Borno State and the northeast Sub-region in general.

During his Inaugural address to members of the th Senate of the University on Thursday 10 July 2014, Prof. Njodi clearly spelt out the policy thrust of his administration which include among others, imbibing academic culture; normalizing the University Academic Calendar and admission process; provision of houses for staff; enhancing revenue generation and exploring options of Investment in revenue generating ventures and sustenance of existing and introducing new programmes. Also included is staff training and development; maintenance of cordial industrial relations and harmony; staff and student discipline; ensuring the full accreditation of academic programmes and quality control; development of e-library and improving the existing synergy between the Governing Council and Senate among others.

The University of Maiduguri has within the past four (4) years under the leadership of Prof. Njodi, witnessed unprecedented emergence of new structures; extensive renovation and rehabilitation of dilapidated buildings; introduction of new courses and programmes; re-accreditation of almost all University programmes by the National Universities Commission and other regulating bodies; procurement of laboratory equipment as well as increased participation of the activities of the University by stakeholders in the education sector, government and its agencies, individuals and organizations among others. The above mentioned developments are no doubt as a result of the initiatives and innovations brought in by Prof. Ibrahim A. Njodi in the course of his stewardship when he assumed office as Vice-Chancellor of the University four (4) years ago. He started clearing grounds for these lofty developments for the institution by first soliciting for the good will, support, cooperation and understanding from the immediate community; well-meaning individuals and organizations within and outside the state. These visit include to the Shehu of Borno, HRH Alh. (Dr) Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Al-Amin ElKanemi; the Executive Governor of Borno State, His Excellency Honourable Kashim Shettima; Elders in the state; Security outfits as well as visit to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND); Governors of the Catchment State; Petroleum Technology Development Fund; National Universities Commission and the Federal Ministry of Education. Also visited by the Vice-Chancellor and his management team are; Federal Environmental Road Management Agency (FERMA); National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC); National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA); Galaxy Backbone an ICT outfit; Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG); Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Ecological Fund; Great Green Valley Agency; notable and prominent Alumni of the University in position of authority and other stakeholders in the Education Sector.

It is important to state here that the visit to all the above mentioned Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Organizations yielded tremendous good will towards the infrastructural developments the institution witnessed. These include among others, the building, commissioning and handing over ten (10) units of two bedroom houses and a borehole to the University Community by the Borno State Government under the leadership of Governor Kashim Shettima; construction of a student hostel by the Kano State Government for the University; granting of the sum of two billion, six hundred million naira (N2.6bn) to the University under the High Impact Special Intervention by TETFUND in tranches of four hundred million naira (N400m) for the procurement of Laboratory equipment, vehicles and generators; two hundred million naira (N200m) for the procurement of heavy duty equipment for Geology Department such as caterpillar, graders, utility vehicle and cartography equipment; five hundred million naira (N500m) for the construction of ten (10) staff houses of four bedroom duplex which serves as Professorial Quarters and One billion five hundred million (N1.5bn) for the construction of a befitting Senate building for the University.

The New Senate Building

In the same vein, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi in the course of his numerous visits with his management team to the TETfund advanced for the speedy completion of the Phase 1 of the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) of the Federal Government to Universities in the country. Phase 1 of project include three (3) five hundred and seventy six (576) bed space each of hostels; five hundred (500) capacity Lecture Theatre and one thousand two hundred (1200) capacity e-test library. All these structures have been completed, commissioned and put to use for the advancement of Education in the University. Furthermore, Prof Njodi was able to draw the attention of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) to the University on the need for it to build and equip an Engineering Laboratory for the Faculty of Engineering. This, the NLNG has done and handed over to the University. The Central Bank of Nigeria on the other hand is undertaking the construction of a Centre of Excellence in Finance and Banking for the University. Suffice to mention here that the Vice-Chancellor has been able to influence a Maiduguri based International mogul, Alh Muhammadu Indimi to come and construct a gigantic complex for the Centre for Distance Learning of the University and an International Conference Center. The complex, which is estimated to cost one billion eight hundred million naira (N1.8bn) will comprise of office, classrooms, conference hall and conveniences.

The Newly Constructed NLNG Engineering Laboratories

One of The Newly Constructed Lecture Theatres

Prof. Ibrahim Njodi has also to his credit stabilized the University Academic Calendar and sanitized the admission process of the University despite the security challenges that has been bedeviling the state since when he assumed duty. With this development, students of the University of Maiduguri now enjoy long vacation from June to October of every year something hitherto not enjoyed by students of the University and many Nigerian Universities. The 2018/2019 Academic session of the University is expected to commence on 2nd of October 2018. This development has now made it possible for parents/guardians and students alike to plan ahead. This is a sharp departure from the past where there is no certainty or outright non-compliance to the academic calendar in the planning and execution of programmes and activities of the University. The normalization of the academic calendar has also made it possible for collaborating partners of the University from Europe, Asia, UK and Africa among others to key into the University programmes consistently. These include the University of Hildesheim Germany, University of Cape Coast; Universiti Putra Malaysia; International University of Africa Khartoum and Universiti Kelatan. The University of Maiduguri, suffice to mention here also has collaboration with the Nigeria Air Force.

The University of Maiduguri for some years has not been able to conduct Convocation ceremonies for the award of degrees, diploma and certificates as well as prizes to its graduates due to the insurgency that engulfed the northeast sub-region since 2009. However, the University under the stewardship of Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi as Vice-chancellor was able to conduct the 22nd- 25th combined Convocation ceremony and 40th Anniversary Celebrations in April 2016 and the 23rd Combined Convocation Ceremony of the University on 28th of April 2018. During the 22nd- 25th Combined Convocation Ceremony, five (5) sets of graduands were awarded their Degrees, Diploma and Certificates while some prominent personalities were also awarded the University's Honorary Doctorate Degrees. This include the Chancellor of the University, the Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba (Dr) Lamidi Adeyemi lll; the Emir of Kano, HRH (Dr) Muhammadu Sanusi ll; Late former Head of State General Murtala Ramat Mohammed and a re-known Linguist from the University of California Los Angeles, Prof Russell Galen Schulz. Also during the 23rd Combined Convocation Ceremony held on 28th April 2018, two (2) sets of students for 2015/2016 and 2016/2017, were awarded their Degrees, Diploma and Certificates while three (3) distinguished Academics of the University namely Professor Abdulhamid Abubakar; Prof John Akin Akinnyi and Prof Joseph Alumnona Ijere were appointed Emeriti Professors during the ceremony.

Prof. Njodi with the Emir of Kano, HRH (Dr) Muhammadu Sanusi ll
At the 22nd- 25th combined Convocation ceremony and 40th Anniversary Celebrations in April 2016.

From Left: Prof. Njodi, Prof. Julius Okojie, former NUC Excutive Secretary, the Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba (Dr) Lamidi Adeyemi lll & the Emir of Kano, HRH (Dr) Muhammadu Sanusi ll

It will not be out of place to mention here that prior to the 22nd- 25th Convocation Ceremony and 40th Anniversary Celebrations, the Vice-Chancellor was able to invite to the University a former Head of State and an Alumnus of the University, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to commission the New Robbing Room and Renovated Convocation Square as well as undertake a facility tour round the University with a view to appreciating the developments recorded in the University since his last visit. The historic visit suffice to state here paved way for other dignitaries from across the country to honour invitations extended to them for activities in not only the State, but the University in particular.

In another related development, the backlog of Certificates of graduates of the University from 2002 to date is ready for collection. The signing of these Certificates has no doubt gladdened the hearts of these graduate because institutions, organizations, government agencies and parastatals now request for originals of Certificates from prospective applicants before being offered appointment or promotions for those already working.

The University of Maiduguri it is important to note, had during the period of insurgency in the State witnessed low number of applicants seeking for admission into the University. However, with the gradual return of peace to the state, parents/guardians and perspective students now struggle to gain admission to the University due to the stable academic atmosphere prevailing in the Institution. The administration of Prof. Njodi has also within a period of four (4) years organized three (3) Public Lectures that brought in International Lectures from Europe and U.S.A who delivered Lectures on topical issues; “RADIO ASTRONOMY” some highlights delivered by Dr. Anita Williams of the University of Manchester U.K on the 18th of January 2016; “RESILENCE AND “MIRACLE” IN TIMES OF CRISIS: THE CASE OF THE NORTH EAST NIGERIA” delivered by Dr. Marc Antoine Perouse de Montclos of French Institute of Geopolitics University of Paris 8 on the 9th of May 2017 and “WAR ACROSS STATES IN AFRICA” delivered by Prof. James J. Hentz of Virginia Military Institute Department of International Studies Lexington V.A on Thursday 6th July 2017.

The importance of revenue is critical to the survival and development of any institution or organization especially in this trying times when governments find it difficult to fulfil its obligations to different sectors of the society due to various competing demands in the face of the dwindling resources. The budgetary allocations to the Education sector by successive governments to Universities and other Tertiary institutions in the country has continuously fallen far below expectations these past years. The need therefore for Universities to look inwards to find alternative means of improving both their financial and other revenue base cannot be over emphasized. The Vice-Chancellor within the past four (4) years has been able to identify key revenue generating units in the University re-organize and gave them necessary incentives for successful take-off. Suffice to state here that the result from these units and outfit has been very encouraging as the revenue collected by these organs led to the construction of some housing units for staff, regrading of some road networks within the University; construction of three (3) kilometer road; rehabilitation and construction of some projects within the University.

These developments within the University by Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi did not go un-noticed in Borno State and the country at large as the President, Commander- in – Chief, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR honored him with the National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) Award on the 21st of February 2017. Students' bodies, Associations and Institutions were not left out in honoring him for the indefatigable developmental strides he brought into the University; they include, the League of African Development Students (LEADS); National Union of Borno State Students (NUBOSS) and the Arewa Students Forum. The University of Nigeria Nsukka on its part honored him for his Leadership qualities while the Institute for Research Leadership Technology Abuja inducted him as Fellow, Development Administration because of his honesty, fairness and support for the rule of law and organizational relationship.

Prof. Ibrahim A. Njodi
Being presented with the NPOM Award by Vice President Yomi Osinbajo

Traditional institutions were also not left out in conferring honors on the Vice-Chancellor, considering the impact he made within and outside the State towards ensuring the development of education in the north-east sub-region and Nigeria as a whole. The Shehu of Borno, Alh .(Dr) Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Al-Amin El-Kanemi (CFR) conferred on him the title of “SHETTIMA ILMUBE” of Borno while the Mai Kaltungo, Alh (Engr) Sale Muhammed Umar (OON) on his part honored him with the title of “DAN RIMIN KALTUNGO”.

The University of Maiduguri community and indeed stakeholders in the education sector are proud of the modest achievements recorded in the Institution by this hardworking, astute, dedicated and forward looking Vice-Chancellor. With these infrastructural developments recorded in the last four years, Prof Njodi is now being referred to in some quarters as the Architect of modern infrastructural development of the University.