The Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof. Abdullahi Bala, fsssn, (Walin Zazzau Suleja) has stated that the University’s extant laws also permit the institution to establish a School of Medical Sciences.
Prof. Bala made this disclosure during a courtesy visit to the former Governor of Old Kano State, Colonel Sani Bello on Thursday, September 10, 2020.
The visitation took place at the Conference room of the Sani Bello Foundation office in Kontagora, Niger State.
Prof. Bala disclosed that establishing a School of Medical Sciences is capital-intensive, adding that it would require the construction of a new complex, recruitment of experienced staff in medical-related fields as well as the building of a teaching hospital. He noted that the only way to hurdle the above-listed challenges would be for Niger State Governor, Alh. (Dr.) Abubakar Sani Bello to lead a delegation to the Presidency to solicit for special funds and concession for its take-off, just as other universities of science and technology have done in the past.
The Vice-Chancellor revealed that the University had concluded arrangements with the Management of the Federal Medical Centre, Bida to use their facilities as a teaching hospital for clinical practice, stating that the University already has some support departments on the ground needed to float a medical school.
Also vital to note, the University helmsman disclosed that despite the funding gap; the University is still the best among specialized universities, while also featuring in the ranking of top ten universities in Nigeria. Further, he solicited the support of Col. Bello to fund the construction of the University Research Farm which he noted would help curtail the incessant clashes between herders and farmers in the country.
He assured the retired Colonel that admission priority would always be given to Niger State, particularly candidates from Zone C of the State based on the principle of fairness.
However, he frowned at the inability of Niger State to fill its allotted admission quota every year, even as he urged Col. Sani Bello to look into the construction of a female hostel in FUTMinna for Niger State students to boost enrolment from the State.
Also recommended was the extension of scholarships to deserving students from the state to pursue degree programmes in the University.
He commended Col. Bello for his sacrifices and developmental strides in Niger State and Nigeria at large through his Foundation and other business ventures while noting that the University would be ready to partner with the Foundation in the areas of entrepreneurial and Information Technology training.
Speaking during the visit, Col. Bello thanked the Vice-Chancellor for the visit, despite the long distance from the state capital. He appealed to the Vice-Chancellor to consider students from Zone C of the state for admission as well as employment opportunities in order to bridge the gap with other zones.
The former Governor of Old Kano State informed the delegation that the Sani Bello Foundation has commenced the construction of a university in Kontagora to complement FUTMinna and other universities’ efforts in providing qualitative education. He disclosed that the proposed university has a take-off date of 2022/23 academic session.
He expressed concern that Niger State students are not getting admission to study medicine and surgery or law in Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto because of the inability of past and present governments of the state to meet up with their financial obligation to the University. He advised the management of FUTMinna to commence medical programmes so that more students from the state would be given opportunities to pursue their dreams of becoming doctors or lawyers.
Meanwhile, the retired Colonel urged the University to look at spreading some of its faculties across the state to bring education closer to the people and ensure economic development. He assured the University’s Management of his decision to engage one of his companies, Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, to liaise with the institution to undertake the funding of a project in the institution as part of its corporate social responsibility since FUTMinna is located in one of the catchment states of the hydroelectric firm.
The Director-General of the Foundation, Dr. Zakari S. Ikani later took the Vice-Chancellor and other delegation from FUTMinna on a tour of facilities at the Col. Sani Bello skills acquisition centre, commercial farm as well as the proposed site of the Sani Bello University of Technology, Kontagora, Niger State.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Yahaya Ahmed Iyaka, fcsn, the Registrar, Mr. Amos Nmadu Kolo, the Director Academic Planning, Prof. Faruk Kuta, the Director, Advancement Office, Dr. Idris Nda A., the Deputy Director (Information and Publications), Mrs. Lydia Legbo and other staff were part of the VC’s entourage to Kontagora.
Col. Sani Bello is the father of the present Governor of Niger State, Alh. (Dr.) Abubakar Sani Bello.