Title: ABU Alumni Association pledge effective synergy with the University Management to develop ABU to greatness

It is the tradition of the ABU Alumni Association during such homecoming activities to organize public lectures in order to provide an avenue for interaction between the University students, alumni and friends. Such events usually bring together the University’s stakeholders to share ideas and network for the development of the University.

This year’s public lecture was organized by the Directorate of University Advancement in collaboration with the Association. The lecture was tagged “Entrepreneurship Studies in Tertiary Institutions.”

In a welcome address, the President, National Alumni Association, Princess Henrietta T Ogan, who was ably represented by the Deputy National President, Dr Ahmed T Mora, welcomed delegates and urged members of the Association to have faith and always remember and promote things that could unite Nigerians.

Princess Ogan appealed to ABU alumni to always pursue knowledge and scholarship at the University rather than things that would divide them such as ethnicity, nepotism and religious intolerance.

She said that Ahmadu Bello University by the sheer strength and size of its alumni and the impacts of the University at various strata of the society (nationally and internationally), there was a strong conviction that its alumni alone could contribute positively to the realization of the glorious future of Nigeria.

In his paper presentation tagged “Integration of Entrepreneurship into University Education in Nigeria”, Dr Bala Magaji stated that entrepreneurship determined the economic development, social welfare, stability as well hope for the future.

He described entrepreneurship as a tool which developing countries needed to utilize in order to empower their youth for better economic growth and for generating employment.

Dr Magaji explained that the world lived in an age where entrepreneurship was not only trendy, but of the moment and an acceptable lifestyle or career choice for many.

According to him, entrepreneurship in higher education was increasingly important in the curricula of business schools, saying majority of entrepreneurship courses were offered in business and economic studies.

He added that the current state of entrepreneurship in universities was that, institutions of higher education in Nigeria were struggling to find a model which allowed for the successful embedding of entrepreneurship into their core curricula.

Magaji then identified some possible ways forward toward promoting entrepreneurship studies in Nigeria’s higher institutions which include among others: producing technologies in renewable energy and agriculture and conducting comparative advantage analysis of bio-energy technologies in order to identify and access available funding windows.

He emphasized the need for sensitization on the available renewable energy technology, which he said would help to create awareness about the technology as well as carrying out a value chain analysis to incorporate bio-energy in the commodity value chains in agriculture.

He then urged institutions in the country to engage with policy professionals to help them incorporate the result of their work into effective policy formulation and implementation processes.

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor Ahmadu Bello University, Professor Abdullahi Mustapha, stated that the choice of the presenter was apt because Dr Bala Magaji was the current Principal Investigator of the Centre of Excellence on Rural Finance and Entrepreneurship.

His experiences within the University and outside suggest that he was chosen well and expressed optimism that the presentation was of great interest. Professor Mustapha commended the speaker for the well elaborate topic, which he said was well chosen, considering the fact that it spoke on the current national interest in which the country is concerned with wealth creation such that individuals can be economically independent, and also have self-esteem.

Professor Abdullahi Mustapha also said that the level of unemployment for graduates of higher institutions in the country was on the increase, and it was therefore very evident that government could not provide enough jobs for teeming graduates.

The Vice Chancellor remarks further that it became even more important for our young men and women to look elsewhere for economic empowerment and better livelihoods. This, according to him, can be sourced through entrepreneurship.

Professor Mustapha assured the delegates that ABU was Ebola free while urging them to enjoy the sights and sounds of the University which always remained their Alma Mater. He told the gathering that, that may be his last outing as the Vice Chancellor of the great institution as his tenure would be ending early in 2015. He wished the Association a greater endeavor in their effort to move the University to the greater height.

Posted by: Ahmed Zakaria, ON Tuesday 27th of January 2015