3rd Convocation Ceremony - March 2018
Alh. (DR.) Umaru A. Mutallab,CON - Chancelor (Right)
Pro-Chancellor (Right) - Amb. Zakari Ibrahim, mni, CON
Vice Chancellor (Left) - Prof. Idris Isah Funtua
I am particularly elated to once again address an important gathering of this nature, the 3rd Convocation in the annals of Umaru Musa Yar’adua University. I am also delighted that this ceremony is taking place at a transformation stage in our history as a nation.
Not by way of blowing the state’s trumpet, but Katsina is historically known in Nigeria and beyond as a citadel of learning, one that has so far produced famous scholars and seasoned administrators that have contributed in no small measure to the development of education and other spheres of life.
We are here today to celebrate and witness the conferment of degrees to the graduands of various programmes in the University. It is indeed a milestone in their lives; one that we all want to be a part of as parents, leaders, teachers and administrators in different capacities.
Alhamdulillah, from its inception to date UMYU has so far been blessed with committed management teams and governing councils that ensure that it reaches its present status. It is also blessed with an enthusiastic and knowledge-driven academic and nonacademic staff without which we will not be here today. It is not easy to mould the characters of an exuberant group and still manage to instill knowledge.
Let me, therefore, congratulate the Chancellor, the Pro-Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor and his team for the manner they have handled the affairs of this University.
Let me also seize this opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of the past management teams and councils of this institution for laying a solid foundation on which the success of this institution in terms of effective teaching, research and innovations, and service to community now stands.
Immediately after I took the oath of office in 2015 as the Governor of Katsina State, I made it clear that we are here to restore Katsina State to its glorious days as education vanguard and an agricultural hub. Consequently we embarked on improving the standard of education by equipping existing schools; building new ones; increasing the number of enrolments; recruiting qualified teachers; training and re-retraining of manpower; and making the sector attractive and responsive to the challenges of this modern age. We believe that a learned society that is attuned to the demands of its time is a more successful one; that is why we continuously commit a huge percentage of the state’s budget to the education sector.
Katsina State is part of – and fully supports – the transformation and restoration agendas of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR. Our commitment to this cause in the education sector can be seen in the number of primary and secondary schools being rehabilitated; the upgrade in the sector to provide a more conducive atmosphere for teaching and learning; the buildings of new schools across the three (03) senatorial zones to attend to the surging increase in enrolment; and the restructuring and reengineering of the sector through more efficient and result-oriented initiatives. This cause is also evident by our commitment in the joint funding of primary education with the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) through the prompt settlement of our contribution for the rehabilitation and upgrade of the primary schools across the State.
Indeed the Restoration Agenda of the present administration is being implemented successfully. The provision of conducive atmosphere for teaching and learning leads to the provision of qualitative education to the people of Katsina State.
From January, 2018 to date the Government awarded contracts for rehabilitation and upgrading of Government Technical College Mashi at the cost of N277,030,847.07, Government Day Secondary School Yanduna in Baure Local Government Area at the cost of N27,526,563.73, Government Girls Boarding Secondary School Rogogo in Zango Local Government Area at the cost of N263,132,216.39. Others include the rehabilitation and upgrading of Government Girls Science Secondary School Sandamu at the cost of N278,803,451.43, Government Day Secondary School Tama in Bindawa Local Government Area at the cost of N90,183,482.05.
In an effort to increase the number of Katsina State Students enrolled in various institutions of higher learning, the State Government has recently approved the sum of N444,743,100.00 for payment of WAEC, NECO, NABTEB and NBAIS Registration fees for the 36,941 Students that qualified. In addition, the sum of N60,175,500.00 was recently released for payment of Female Teacher Trainee Special Scholarship Scheme for NCE I, II and III Students.
Importantly, the role being played by the Tertiary Education Training Fund (Tetfund) in providing funding for staff training and development cannot go unappreciated. Tetfund – in addition to our financial contributions as a State – greatly helps in supporting staff of this institution to obtain higher degrees from Universities in the country and abroad. On our part as well, we are committing huge resources through the Education Tax Fund Scheme to the structural development of this institution, and we pledge to provide more funding despite existing financial situation to meet up with the increasing number of new programmes in the University.
In order to attend to the envisaged and planned phased-development of the institution, plans have reached advanced stage to see to the establishment of a teaching hospital for the Faculty of Medical Sciences. With the take off, the Faculty will offer programmes leading to the award of degrees such as medicine, human anatomy, physiology and community medicine; the human resource that is needed to address the deficit in the state’s health sector. Already most of the building structures to house these programmes have been completed and equipment supplied.
Similarly, the State government has approved the establishment of the Faculty of Agriculture at the old Agricultural Training Centre at Layin Minista in Malumfashi Local Government Area to keep phase with the development plan of the University. The cost had already been reflected in the 2018 budget and very soon work will start at the site. This effort is coming at a time when the Country is diversifying its sources of revenue, with keen emphasis on agriculture, which was the mainstay of the country prior to the discovery of oil.
I therefore urge the management to continue to seek alternative means of revenue through collaborations with private sectors and corporate bodies that support its cause. While this administration implores this institution to take alternative sources of revenue seriously, we are committed to providing the support to enhance its service delivery. On its own part, the management must ensure accountability and probity in the utilization of the resources allocated to the University.
The State government will no doubt play its role by maintaining prompt release of funds to cater for the running cost of the University as well as staff training and development. It will also ensure that funds are increased as the institution grows to its full potentials. We will also encourage the University to expand its horizons in line with the extant laws of the state, which provides a level of autonomy in line with existing laws.
May I at this juncture once again congratulate the graduands for being deemed worthy in character and learning to be awarded various degrees. Alhamdulillah, we are proud to produce this caliber of students that can compete with students from any institution. It is one of our objectives to produce the needed workforce that can be utilized for the development of the state and country at large.
In line with what is obtainable in other Universities in the Country, the State Government is in the process of amending the Laws of the University in order to domesticate the elongation of retirement age for academic and non-academic staff to 70 years and 65 years respectively.
There is the need to sustain the tempo and to draw the attention of our dear graduands to the fact that they will have to adjust their expectations and aspirations to the transformational changes the country is undergoing; it is no longer business as usual. It is thus expected that as graduands you should creatively deploy your training and skills to meet these new challenges instead of seeking out old ways of doing things in the country.
Once again, I wish to congratulate the graduands and pray that they will be beneficial to the development of the state and country.
Finally, I wish to express my profound appreciation to all those who found time to grace this occasion despite numerous commitments. I wish you all safe journey back to your respective destinations.
It gives me great pleasure to address the 3rd Convocation of Umaru Musa Yar’adua University, Katsina. May I on behalf of the University Community warmly welcome the Visitor, His Excellency, Rt. Honourable Aminu Bello Masari, CFR the Executive Governor of Katsina State and the His Excellency’s entourage, to this great University which is strategically poised to enhance its service delivery to the State.
May I also heartily welcome other Governors here present, Honourable Members of the National Assembly, Royal Fathers and other distinguished invited guests to this Convocation. I am delighted also to welcome the parents and guardians of the graduands, most of whom will now start the search for gainful employment in the tough labour market in Nigeria.
Since my installation as the Chancellor of this University, I have found this University to be vibrant and promising. It has enormous human and material resources and a number of specialized research institutes, particularly the Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services and National Animal Production Research Institute which have over the years made significant contributions to the Agricultural Sector in Nigeria. May I, to this end, seize this opportunity to appeal to the Federal Government through the relevant ministries and supervisory agencies to increase the funding and other support to these research institutes. This would empower them to extend their roles in the agricultural industry through the development of high yielding seeds, design and production of simple agricultural machinery, dissemination of state-of-the art farming techniques to farmers, production of disease resistant birds, prevention and cure of diseases in cattle and large ruminants among others.
While appealing to the Federal Government and National Assembly to provide more funds for research to the Agricultural Institutes mentioned above, it is pertinent for me also urge the institutes to re-strategize their activities with a view to achieving greater results. The institutes should, in synergy with themselves and collaboration with international agricultural institutes, do more to contribute to the Federal Government in its quest to boost the growth of Agricultural Sector as the diversification of the nation’s economy intensifies. The Federal Government, as we are all aware, has taken laudable measures towards less reliance on oil revenue.
As I said earlier, the University has enormous resources which includes a vast land being developed under Phase II master plan of the University. The ten (10) hostel blocks donated by Alhaji Aliko Dangote are being built in Phase II. Other projects such as the Department of Glass Technology are ongoing there while we await the commencement of the Faculty of Science donated by General T. Y. Danjuma (rtd). We are hopeful that this project will soon take-off. The University remains grateful to General T. Y. Danjuma for this generous donation. His name will be etched in gold by posterity for this donation. The Council and Management of the University should, through the advancement unit, continue to search for donors to endow other projects that would assist the University to provided adequate structural and infrastructural facilities for expansion of programmes and enhancement of quality teaching/learning situations.
I urge the Senate and Management of this great University to sanction the introduction of 21st century media of instruction, including virtual lecture halls and robust wifi which should be free for all academic staff members and students. I have been informed in this regard that the University has taken steps in this direction. I commend the Management for this noble step.
I cannot conclude my address without acknowledging on a sad note the demise of the Pro-Chancellor and the Chairman of Council of the University, AVM Moukhtar Mohammed (rtd), who passed away on 1st October, 2017. We all mourn and miss AVM Moukhtar Mohammed who was known for his humility, honesty, sincerity, patriotism, hard work, and commitment to duty. He has left positive impressions in the minds of the University Community in his short tenure as Pro-Chancellor. He was clearly visionary and was prepared to give and do his best for the University. May his gentle soul rest in peace.
Finally, permit me, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, to recognize the remarkable peace and stability that the University has enjoyed over the years. I commend the Management, Staff and Students for this positive and mature approach in the conduct of the affairs of the University.
I once more welcome you to the promising University whose staff and students’ population reflect the diversity of our dear state.
I wish you all a memorable experience at this ceremony.
Thank you all.
It is with deepest sense of humility that I, on behalf of Council, thank Allah who is most deserving of all praises, for yet another opportunity to address this important gathering.
Given the scale and rate of the changes that have swept through and impacted positively on this University, I want to pay special tribute to all noble men and women, staff and students, strategic partners and friends who have contributed in one way or the other to making Umaru Musa Yar’adua University a leading University in Nigeria.
May I also warmly welcome you all to this occasion especially the representative of the Visitor.
Honourable Chancellor, Sir, on behalf of the Council, I wish to express our profound appreciation to you. Alhaji (Dr) Umaru Abdulmutallab, CON is indeed a rare Nigerian and Umaru Musa Yar’adua University is privileged to tap from his vast wealth of experience.
To all our graduands, I would first of all like to congratulate you and pray that Allah will bless you and your degrees. It is important for you to note that even though your achievements may be a function of hard work and commitment, you must not forget that the opportunity for that came from a caring State which has provided you with the enabling environment and other facilities for your studies. I, therefore, urge you to continue to show love and respect to the State by demonstrating unflinching loyalty and highest level of patriotism. Your State does not deserve less. I have always been captivated by the phrases “found worthy in both character and learning”. Over the years, however, I have started to re-examine that phrase in the context of our national unity and international academic standards. We must, therefore, endeavour to mould the character of our graduates beyond our local environment, so that they can fully appreciate and respect the character of others. In a plural society like ours, understanding and accommodating the values of others must play a vital role in shaping our future leaders. I am confident that Umaru Musa Yar’adua University will be able to impart this on their graduates much as we are committed to raising academic standards to the level of global competitiveness.
In spite of all these impressive achievements, Umaru Musa Yar’adua University is still facing some serious challenges. The issue of funding remains of concern especially with respect to personnel and overhead costs. Even with capital budget, the future looks uncertain since the bulk of it comes from Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) interventions. As a matter of immediate priority, we plead with the State Government to intervene. For a permanent solution, I am respectfully appealing to the Visitor to constitute a Committee of experts that would objectively determine the budgetary requirements of all Universities and submit appropriate recommendations for implementations.
The State Government has remained one of our greatest pillars of support. The personal interest of the Executive Governor, Rt. Honourable Aminu Bello Masari, CFR in all UMYU affairs is indeed a source of joy and encouragement to all of us. The University Community fully identifies itself with the commendable achievements recorded by Katsina State Government under Rt. Honourable Aminu Bello Masari, CFR, but as partners in progress, I will hasten to add that more can be achieved if the political environment is enjoying maximum cooperation from all and sundry in an atmosphere of mutual trust, harmony, respect, and accommodation. As a stakeholders, we in UMYU believe that Governor Masari has the capacity, decorum, commitment and the love for Katsina people to play a leading role in handling the current avoidable political disputes. It is with sincere intention that I appeal to Governor to, as a matter of urgency, look into this issue. Great leaders, with fear of Allah in their minds and actions, consider no sacrifice to be too big, in the interest of peaceful coexistence, development and general well being of their people. May Allah continue to guide you, Mr. Governor.
I should also clearly state that Umaru Musa Yar’adua University has continued to enjoy tremendous support from the Federal Government especially through the National Universities Commission (NUC), TETFUND and Federal Ministry of Education. This has gone a long way to ease our problems and place us in the forefront as far as physical and academic developments of the University are concerned. We remain eternally grateful.
We can never be tired of the consistent and fatherly role being played by His Royal Highness Dr. Abdulmumin Kabir Usman, CFR. His Highness support, advice and contributions to the affairs of this University have gone a long way to keep UMYU ahead of others. May Allah grant Sarkin Katsina more wisdom, knowledge and long life in the service of the humanity.
Friends of Umaru Musa Yar’adua University are many; indeed too numerous to mention individually. Let me assure all of you that you occupy a special place in UMYU and you will never be forgotten. May Allah reward you all abundantly.
At this point let me congratulate two eminent personalities who by the authority of Council and the Senate are being conferred with honourary Doctorate Degrees of the University.
Before I conclude my address, let me reaffirm our confidence in the UMYU system. We, as external members of Council, have always been fascinated by the unity of purpose, commitment and cohesion that exist between Management, the Senate, the Congregation and the wider University Community. These find attributes have been admirably institutionalized in UMYU. I am marvelled by the leadership qualities of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Idris Isa Funtua. I have witnessed practical demonstration of commitment and selfless service resulting in unparralled academic and physical developments in the University. Umaru Musa Yar’adua University as a leading institution and citadel of learning is run on the basis of mutual trust and respect among all the stakeholders. Our Council remained highly impressed with the passion of Professor Idris Isa Funtua whose dedication to duty, intellectual capacity and integrity have contributed in no small measure in consolidating the enabling environment for team work in the pursuit of academic excellence and overall progress of the University. In the same vein, I wish to express our sincere appreciation to the Management, the Senate, the academic and non-academic staff and students for the faith you kept in UMYU System. In not too distance future, the UMYU brand will be an attractive export commodity to other Universities both within and outside the country.
My address will not be completed without paying special tribute to the members of the Council both external and internal. Dr. Badamasi Lawal Charanchi, Prof. Danjuma Maiwada, Dr. Salihu Lawal, Dr. Bilyaminu Idris Kadandani and Alhaji Aminu Bello Kofar Bai, our external members are deserving of special commendation. You have been the source of my strength, the source of my confidence and even the source of my pride in discharging my responsibilities as the Chairman of the Governing Council. Thank you very much indeed.
Once again, I extend my warmest congratulations to all our graduands. For me personally, it is with ease, joy, and comfort that I will proudly continue to identify with all of you.
Thank you for listening as I pray for safe return to our various destinations.
Thank you and may God bless.
It is with gratitude to Allah that we welcome you all to the 3rd Convocation Ceremony of Umaru Musa Yar’adua University (UMYU), Katsina. Indeed, this is a day of joy and celebration, of happy endings and new beginnings, of families and friends, of achievements and hopes for our graduands. It is also a day when we as a university perform our most important annual ritual, affirming once again the purposes that stimulate us and the values that direct and inspire us.
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, It was just like yesterday, but truly it is one year ago that we assembled here for the second convocation ceremony and conferred degrees on four sets of undergraduate students and postgraduate students. The event also witnessed the investiture and award of an honorary degree to the Chancellor, Alhaji (Dr) Umaru A. Mutallab, CON. Today we are gathered for the third convocation ceremony and in conformity with the tradition of the university system to confer degrees on undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Your Excellencies, Universities are today as ever facing challenges, disturbing challenges of instability at local levels and major challenges on the global level, that of remaining relevant and competitive in a rapidly changing world. UMYU is no exception and is daunted by these challenges that raised many questions-how do we ensure excellence in a situation of limited resources? How do we train students for success where there are scarce jobs and uncertain future? How do we balance increase in access with excellence? And how do we leverage on information technology like conduct of CBT examinations and the deployment of e-learning and still maintain high academic standard? We have prepared our minds to face these challenges and resolved that we have to be innovative and adaptive in our approach as we need not only want to survive but we want to excel in our little way.
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen our academic programmes continue to expand so as to meet the demand of our society, that of obtaining education at the highest level. In addition to our existing fully accreditated 35 undergraduate programmes and 26 postgraduate programmes we are introducing additional five PhD and four Masters programmes this academic season.
We are set for the takeoff of the Faculty of Medical Sciences as already a pre-accreditation visit has been carried out by a team from the Nigerian Universities Commission and there is commitment at the highest level on the part of the State Government for the medical programme with a Committee for the establishment of Teaching Hospital headed by HE the Deputy Governor.
Additionally, the Faculty of Agriculture is to take off at Layin Minista this coming academic session with the approval by the Visitor. The University is working towards having a well established Agriculture programme that is long overdue.
Your Excellencies, our two sources of funding for staff training and development namely the Staff Training Development (STD) and Tertiary Education Fund (Tetfund), are on a continuous basis being utilized for the sponsorships of study fellowships, workshop, seminar and conference attendances. Challenges of inadequate funds are still there as the number of staff requiring training and re-training are increasing and are not matched with the available funds but, considering the general economic situation we believe we are not doing badly and we will continue to explore to do more.
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is constructing an Agribusiness Incubation Centre (AIC) for our University with provision of tomato processing lines for paste and juice, and associated training facilities. This is a multi-million Naira project consisting of the construction of the centre, complete furnishing and provision of equipment. There is an equally important intervention from the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology for ICT Incubation hub and it also involved construction and provision of equipment. The constructions of these projects are at an advance stage of completion while all the equipment had been supplied. The third intervention we are having this year from the Federal Government is from the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), an agency of Federal Ministry of Science and Technology for the establishment of Intellectual Property and Technology Office (ITTO). We are indeed grateful to all these Federal agencies and we give the assurance that we will continue to provide the environment and all the needed incentives to attract projects and partnerships to advance the cause of this University and for the progress of Nigeria.
Your Excellencies, our Centre for Renewable Energy is now a leading centre in Nigeria for competency certification on solar photo voltaic installation and solar photo voltaic installation supervision under the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP). Three such certification courses were undertaken within the last one year.
The European Union (EU) Grant Project, coordinated by the Energy Centre, on Sustainable Development of Farm Agro-forestry and Fuel Wood Conservation System in seven LGAs (Batsari, Batagarawa, Jibia, Kaita and Rimi) of Katsina State is coming to an end by August this year. Remarkable success has been achieved from the project. The achievements of the project include training of more than 8,460 farmers on nursery practices and agro-forestry management and the training of about 1,000 women and youth belonging to CBOs on processing of tree fruits. There was the distribution of about 4.2 million seedlings to farmers within the last three years that were produced by 344 private nursery owners and the training of about 1,000 porters and CBOs in the last three years on the production of improved mud wood stoves.
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, the University in carrying out one of its cardinal function, that of Community service, is through the UMYU Microfinance Bank participating in Women Empowerment Scheme. Accordingly, the Bank designed a product exclusively for WOMEN to enable them access micro soft loans of N5,000.00. The loan was to be repaid within three months through weekly repayment of N455.00 and a weekly compulsory savings of N350.00 for a period of 13 weeks. The scheme commenced with 15 women from Dabaibayawa village in March, 2017. Presently, 550 women from the following villages of Batagarawa Local Government: Dabaibayawa, Angawa/Autawa, Tsanni, Yar’gamji, Bakiyawa, Dandagoro and Ajiwa are enrolled and we are having 100% compliance.
The Voluntary teaching programme, another important community service, undertaken by Staff of UMYU in public primary and secondary schools is in its second year running and a holistic assessment is being carried out to improve on its outreach and effectiveness.
The construction of Crèche, Nursery and Primary School under the auspices of UMYU Consult Ltd is at an advanced stage of completion and is to provide education services to staff and students’ wards and the immediate community. Similarly, a Gas station under a lease agreement with AA Rano Petroleum Ltd is near completion.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, today we are presenting before you a total of 1,397 graduating students who will receive degrees having been found worthy both in character and learning. 1,290 are first degrees while 107 are postgraduates.
Among the undergraduates 9 are first class, 300 are second class upper, 639 are second class lower, 316 third class and 26 had pass degrees. There are two PhDs among the postgraduates alongside 105 Master degrees.
On behalf of the University Community I extend my congratulations to all the graduates, their families, and friends. We wish you best of luck as you embark on the journey into your future. I implore you to have your University in mind and an easy way to accomplish that is to remember the good times you have had here, the many friends you made and the education you had and the way the education will continue to impact on you in your future endeavours.
Your Excellencies, we want to appreciate Prof S. A. Abdullah for the eloquent delivery of the convocation lecture on the topical issue of inclusive transformation of our economy through MSMSE. The message of the lecture is that for inclusive transformation in our society to take place through micro, Small, Medium Enterprises the three E’s of Education, Engagement and Entrepreneurship must be place.
We are thankful to the Chairman and Pro-Chancellor, Ambassador Zakari Ibrahim, mni, CON and members of the Governing Council for driving the policies of the University, the Staff of the University for Dedication to the cause of the University. Our appreciation goes to the Chancellor, Alhaji (Dr) Umaru Mutallab, CON, who almost to the last day was trying to change his schedule at a Conference on Islamic Finance in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to be with us but it was not to be.
We are ever grateful to the Visitor, His Excellency, The Governor of Katsina State, Rt. Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, CFR, for the interest, commitment, assistance and several interventions in the development of our University.
Your Excellencies, let me use this opportunity to once again call on all stakeholders of UMYU to come out and be identified with our tremendous progress towards having a reputable institution that is providing the needed education and training for our people at the highest level. There is still much more to be done and we cannot do it alone. And as we have always indicated, you will find us a ready partner.
We want to thank friends and well wishers of UMYU and all who honoured our invitations and conveyed their goodwill messages.
We thank you all and we are indeed grateful.