By Muhammad Hamisu Abdullahi
All Vice Chancellors of federal, state and private universities in the country are expected to converge in Kano for the 35th Conference of the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities.
The three categories of the Vice Chancellors are billed to assemble on Monday at the premises of the Kano State University of Science and Technology, Wudil, which will host the occasion.
Revealing this to newsmen on Friday at the premises of the university, its Vice Chancellor, the chief host of the event, Prof. Shehu Alhaji Musa, said the institution had made adequate preparation for the august occasion, which, according to him, was not held for a long time in Northwestern part of the country.
Prof. Musa said the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the Visitor of the University, is expected to declare the event open.
He said dignitaries would start arriving in the state for the event on Sunday, July 11, this year to kickstart it on Monday, hinting that lectures would be presented on Tuesday for the event proper up to Wednesday, while a dinner in honour of the guests would be held on Monday and Wednesday.
Prof. Musa, who told journalists that the hosting right was given to the university by the association in 2019, however said due to Covid-19, which lasted for almost one year, the event did not hold last year.
He said that the conference would avail the universities an opportunity to address many issues militating against the university system such as funding and revenue generation.
He said proffering solutions to the problems would be of great importance to the university education system of the nation, explaining that this is looking at the fact that no university can stand alone wthout funding.
He said they would look at what the universities would do on their own to generate revenue or infrastructure to improve their digital learning capacity, artificial intelligence and quantum studies for their successful running.
He said during the event, they are expecting Vice Chancellors of all universities in the country, including those of state and privately-owned universities, saying that they are also expecting the presence of the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Prof. Sulaiman Elias Bogoro, whom he said has done greatly well in supporting the university and his counterpart of the Nigerian Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed.
According to him, the immediate Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, who was one time Vice Chancellor of the KUST, will be the key note speaker; the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the university, Alhaji Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, SAN, will chair the occasion, while the governor of Central Bank of Nigerian, Mr. Godwin Emefiele is expected to anchor an exhibition presentation.
Prof. Musa thanked the journalists for being friends of the university, whom he said they would ever remain partners in progress to them.
He also explained that the representative of the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu and the state Commissioner for Higher Education, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud Bunkure would be present at the occasion.
Prof. Musa described the theme for the event: ‘Pave Ways to the Great Investment: Creating Funding and DARQ Technologies in Nigerian Universities,’ as apt as it would go a long way in adding value to the Nigerian university system.
He said a part from technical presentation, they would also hold round table discussion on ways of promoting university education in the country, adding that the conference would both physical and virtual to those who could not be present to contribute to the progress of the meeting.
In his closing remarks, the chairman of Local Organising Committee of the event, Prof. Aminu Umar Fagge, who doubles as the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic of the university, congratulated and thanked Prof. Musa for the ability of the university to host the event, which he described as not an easy task.
He thanked the state government under the leadership of Governor Ganduje for giving all the support needed toward making the event a success, thanking the Chancellor of the university, Alhaji Aliko Dangote for supporting the hosting of the event financially and morally.
Among those at the press conference were the Registrar of the university, Malam Aminu Bello Daniya, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration of the university, Prof. Tijjani Sale Bichi and the Bursar of the institution, Hajiya Balaraba Tijjani Abdullahi.
Dignitaries are expected to depart back to their various destinations on Thursday.