Life in Katsina
Umaru Musa Yar’adua University is located in Katsina City. Katsina is one of the oldest Hausa kingdoms and currently it is the headquarter of Katsina State. Traditionally, the State houses two emirates namely Katsina and Daura. Daura Emirate is regarded as the origin of Hausa traditional ruling system. Katsina has since been recognized as centre of learning as it hosts the Gobarau Minaret which is believed to be an old University which was affliated to Sankore University in Timbuktu. The pioneer lecturers of Gobarau University are said to have included Sheik Qadi Muhammad Al-Tazakhti, Sheikh Muhammad Abdulkarim Almaghili and Sheikh Umar bin Aqit. Others are Sheikh Ahmad Baba al-Timbukhti, Sheikh Aqib al-Ansumani al-Makrushi and a host of others. The Famous old Katsina College is also located in Katsina. The college was founded in 1921 by British Governor General Hugh Clifford and it switched its name to "Kaduna College" in 1938 and then "Government College, Zaria" in 1949 before settling on "Barewa College. The college is recognized for being an alma mater to many elites from Northern Nigeria including Late Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (the first Prime Minister of Nigeria) and the first Premier of Northern Nigeria, Late Alhaji Ahmadu Bello (Sardaunan Sokoto).
Geography: Katsina is located on the coordinates 12°15'0" N and 7°30'0" E in DMS (Degrees Minutes Seconds) or 12.25 and 7.5 (in decimal degrees). Its UTM position is LU35 and its Joint Operation Graphics reference is ND32-13, it is located at an elevation of 605 meters above sea level. Katsina State has a population of about 6,483,429, covering a total land mass of 24,192km, Katsina state is bounded in the east by Kano and Jigawa States, in the south by Kaduna state, in the west by Zamfara State and in the north by Niger Republic.
Climate: The state can be classified into two zones in term of climate which are the tropical continental and semia-rid continental. The south of the state (from Funtua to DutsimMa) belong to the former with total annual rainfall figures ranging from 1000mm around Funtua to over 800m around DutsimMa. The north of Katsina State (from around Kankia to the extreme northeast) has total rainfall figures ranging from 600-700mm annually. Generally, climate varies considerably according to months and seasons. A cool dry (harmattan) season from December to February; a hot dry season from March to May; a warm wet season from June to September; a less marked season after rains during the months of October to November, characterised by decreasing rainfall and a gradual lowering of temperature.
Durbar Celebration: The Durbar reflects the state’s cultural and historical dignity. It is a significant royal display of horsemanship mainly organized to mark important occasions and Sallah festivities. Distinguished personalities are also honored with Durbar when they visit Katsina. The Durbar is characterized by royal horsemen, dances and gorgeous horses, trumpeters, District Heads and other traditional title holders while the Emir serves as the Leader of the procession.
Katsina city Walls (Ganuwar Amina): The ancient wall surrounding the old Katsina City was built during the reign of Sarki Ali Murabus in the 15th century and seven gates associated with the wall are Kofar Yandaka, Kofar Guga, Kofar Kaura,Kofar Durbi, Kofar Sauri and Kofar Kwaya.
Emirs of Katsina and Daura Palaces: These palaces are tourist attractions because of their unique architectural structures. The palaces which were constructed with traditional building materials, depict northern Nigeria’s traditional architectural designs dated as far back as the early 19th Century.
Kusugu Well & Legendary Bayajida Sword: “Kusugu” is where a giant snake called “sarki” was killed with a sword by Bayajidda in the 10th century AD because the snake only allowed Daura people then to draw water from the well once in a week. This heroic act by Bayajidda made Daurama -the reigning queen of the time- to marry Bayajidda who came from the Middle East. The well and the sword are still intact and can be seen by tourists.
Hotels: Katsina is blessed with many hotels that provide accommodation, eatery and other services. Prominent among these hotels are Katsina Motel in Katsina, Liyafa Palace Hotel also in Katsina and Jamil Hotel which is located in Funtua. Katsina Motel is one of the Nigeria’s finest motels providing exclusive accommodations, attentive services and personalized amenities. The hotel is equipped with deluxe rooms and suits all fit into various flats and chalets within the complex, luxurious restaurant, a large and standard conference hall for business, meeting and other functions. Liyafa Palace Hotel is located in the heart of Katsina and it combines traditional Arabic architecture with modernity, exquisitely decorated spacious rooms and suites, restaurants serving excellent local and exotic food.
Food: Like other Hausa communities, the most common food found in Katsina are prepared from grains, such as sorghum, millet, rice, or maize, which are ground into flour for a variety of different kinds of dishes. This food is popularly known as tuwo in the Hausa language. Usually, breakfast consists of cakes made from fried ground beans, known as kosai. The cakes are served with a porridge known as kunu or koko. Lunch or dinner usually feature a heavy porridge with soup and stew known as tuwo da miya. The soup and stew are usually prepared with ground or chopped tomatoes, pepper and onions. A local condiment called “daddawa” is usually added. Spices and other vegetables, such as spinach, pumpkin, or okra, are added to the soup during preparation. The stew is prepared with meat, which can include goat or cow meat. Beans, peanuts, and milk are also served as a complementary protein diet. “Fura da nono” is another cuisine associated with Katsina. It is a porridge prepared from ground millet diluted with fresh cow milk. Beef of various sources is usually processed into a delicacy known as “suya”. Katsina is also regarded as a home of a special spicy delicacy known as “Kilishi” which looks exactly like jerky. As a result of prolonged business and scholarly relations between Katsina and Arab lands, many Arabian dishes such “al-garagi”, “al-khubus”, “masa”, “gurasa” etc are now indigenized in Katsina.
Several good restaurants where variety of local and continental dishes are served are available in and around Katsina City.
Transport: Katsina is connected to all parts of Nigeria by several road networks. The state is also connected to Niger Republic by good roads from many boarder points. The Katsina city and other cities of the seven oldest Local Government areas of the state have good metropolitan roads. Recently a “ring road” that surrounds the whole of Katsina city was constructed. In fact, Katsina is regarded as the State that has the best road network in Nigeria. The State is also blessed with an efficient transportation company known as Katsina State transport Authority (KTSTA) which takes passenger to and from different parts of the country and other neighboring countries at a relatively cheap price. An International Airport with good facilities is also available in the State.
Located at the nucleus of the University is the University Library named Professor Bello Daura Library which was formally commissioned on 19th March, 2009 by the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, late Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, (GCFR). The University Library system is made up of the Main Library which houses a collection of carefully selected books and periodicals in all the subject areas of programs offered by the University. It also complements its services with e-Library facilities comprising over 200 Lap-top and Desk-top computers fully connected with internet. In addition to the Main Library resources, there are Faculty Libraries fully equipped with e-Library facilities that are linked to the main Library via the internet. There are also departmental resource rooms in the Faculties of Natural and Applied Sciences, Humanities and Education under the supervision of their Heads of Department.
The Library is made up of one-storey qua-duplex building with a total floor space area of 2,677sq meters, and with a shelving space for about 300,000 (Three hundred thousand) volumes. With capacity for 1,000 users, the Library is divided into the following sections: electronic Library services, Reference, Serials, Special Collection (which comprises Arabic, Islamic studies and Local literature), Acquisition and Technical Services Department.
Currently, the Library’s holdings are approaching 20,000 volumes in addition to serials collections, electronic journal subscriptions, databases and official Government Publications.
The qua-duplex design has eight wings. The ground floor left wing houses the General Administration, offices and a seminar room. The central area is occupied by Reference section and Serials (General Arts & Humanities). The ground floor right wing also houses the main Data center of the University, e-Library, Reserve, Technical Services and Special Collections.
The Library also operates a Digitalized Information Service which allows users to access more non-book materials. The system also enables users to confirm, check-in, renew, reserve and check-out books and other resources. Moreover, the Library provides printing services for the full-text database of social science theses and dissertations. Most recently, the Main Library has created a new program which allows users better access to information on research resources, and has established the Integrated Retrieval System to facilitate easier access to multi-media data and e-books.
Male and Female Hostels:
The University has both Male and Female Hostels. The Male Hostel is named Professor Sani Muazu Hostel and has 10 blocks with 20 rooms in each block. In addition, there is another block (block K) which has 96 rooms. In total, the Male Hostel can conveniently accommodate 1,600 students. The Female Hostel is named Hajia Indo Mohammed Hostel and is made up 3 blocks (A, B and C) Blocks A and B have 78 rooms while Block C has 96 rooms. The rooms can conveniently accommodate 752 students. In all the hostels, cooking and laundry facilities are provided. Sport and viewing facilities are also provided. Rooms are allocated to students at the beginning of each session irrespective of their tribe, religion or ethnicity, however, priority is given to fresh, final year, physically challenged and international students. A well-furnished and serene Postgraduate Hostel was also recently constructed. The postgraduate hostel has 64 self-contain rooms equipped with reading facilities. All the hostels are equipped with security and safety facilities. Each hostel is being taken care of by designated Hall Administrator. In addition to Hall Administrator, other officers including Hostel Advisors, Hostel Supervisors, Porters/Portresses are also deployed to each hostel in order to ensure proper maintenance of the hostels facilities.
Sandwiched between Male and Female hostels, Umaru Musa Yar’adua University Student Centre is one of the most beautiful buildings in the Campus. The Centre accommodates many shops and food canteens where students can easily buy essential commodities and food. Stationary shops as well as computer business centers are also situated in the Centre. The Centre also serves as a venue for many student-centered programmes. The Student Union Secretariat is also situated within the Centre. The Centre is connected with wireless internet service to be accessed by registered students of the University. To get closer to students, arrangements are in progress to relocate the Student Affairs Division to the Student Centre.
There is UMYU Microfinance Bank, a University owned Bank located at the Student Centre. The Bank accepts various types of deposits including savings, time, target and demand deposits from individuals, groups and associations. The bank also provides credit to its customers and issues redeemable debentures to interested parties from members of the public. In addition, the Bank offers payment services such as salaries, gratuities and pensions for University’s staff, staff of other neighboring sister institutions as well as clubs and associations. In addition to the Microfinance Bank, First Bank of Nigeria PLC has Quick Cash Centre (QCC) in the campus which is equipped with Automated Teller Machines (ATM). Fidelity Bank PLC is also about to install ATM machines very close to the Student Centre.
The University Health Centre (University Clinic) is located in the Student Centre and it provides friendly, comprehensive medical services to students and staff of the University. The Clinic is staffed with qualified and experienced Medical Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists and Laboratory personnel. Twenty four hour ambulance service is also provided by the clinic. In addition to providing medical care, the clinic also has Environmental Health Workers that promote hygienic life style in the Campus. Students are registered upon admission on a health insurance programme.
The University recognizes the importance of sporting activities in boosting academic moral of students, hence it is determined to develop and enhance its sport facilities in order to ensure that all students and staff are able to participate at appropriate levels to fulfil their sport and fitness needs and desires. Sport facilities available in the Campus include two standard football fitches, volley ball and basketball courts. Table tennis sets are also available in both male and female hostels.
Safety and Security
To ensure safety of lives and properties in the Campus, all buildings are equipped with firefighting facilities. Drill on the use of these facilities is being organized periodically. The Security Division of the University, consisting of Chief Security Officer, Security Operation Officer, five Security Supervisors and about 200 security guards, provides security service 24/7/365. To ensure effective security coverage, the Security Division of the University maintains a good relationship with Law Enforcement Agencies especially the Nigerian Police Force, State Security Service and the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency. The Security Division encourages the University Community to report all issues of security concern promptly and also participate and support crime prevention efforts. The Division also provides six emergency phones lines which could be contacted at any time to report any security or emergency matter.