Professor Abubakar Musa Kundiri is the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University Wukari (FUW). He can aptly be described as someone who has carved a niche for himself in the academic cycle. Professor Kundiri is, however, writing his name in gold at the University through his developmental strides at uplifting the recently established university.
Sitting on a landmass area of 199.25 hectares, the Federal University Wukari (FUW) at take-off acquired the facilities of the Wukari Campus of the Taraba State Polytechnic in 2011 after it was established by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Professor Abubakar Musa Kundiri, who was appointed the second Vice-Chancellor of the University in March 2016, has transformed the University in terms of academics and infrastructural development.
The University, which boasts of three key faculties of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Humanities, Management and Social Sciences as well as Pure & Applied Sciences, has 25 academic departments offering 27 undergraduate Degree Programmes.
Tanko Yusuf, a 300-level student in the Department of Chemistry, told our correspondent that the smooth running of academic programmes in the University has attracted students’ population into the University.
“In terms of infrastructure, the Vice-Chancellor has turned the University into a construction site as massive infrastructural projects are currently ongoing in the school. We are lucky to have someone like him as the Vice-Chancellor. If we had him from the beginning to lay the foundation, the University would have been far from where it is currently,” he said.
Kundiri on assumption of office came out with a Medium-Term Strategic Plan to Guide the Growth of the University, and this led to the full accreditation of all 27 undergraduate programmes of the University.
He has since completed all abandoned projects including Faculty buildings, lecture theatres, classrooms, halls, cafeterias, medical centre, students’ hostels, perimeter fencing, entrepreneurial centre, among others.
Other projects include the construction of senior academic staff housing to attract quality academic staff; construction of principal officers’ housing units, construction of world-class Central Laboratory; development of security infrastructure to ensure the safety of people and property in the university and its immediate environment.
The university has also provided industrial boreholes and reticulation, solar street lighting, waste management system and construction of over 10 kilometres of roads within the campus.
A lecturer in the Department of Economics, Stephen Nev, said the construction of new Faculty buildings to house the establishment of new Faculties of Education; Engineering and Technology; Law and Medicine as well as other infrastructure to address ecological challenges on the campus has made the university stand out among its peers.
“The Vice-Chancellor has established the School of Postgraduate Studies which will soon commence Postgraduate Diploma, Masters and Doctoral programmes in all departments of the University.
“There is also deployment of ICT infrastructure including campus-wide wireless services backed by fire optic infrastructure,” Nev said.
He also said that the “Development of University Website and Portal Automation of Council, Senate and other meetings through the installation of computing facilities in the Council/Senate Chamber has made communication easier in the University.”
Other gains of the University under the VC include appointment of over 20 professors and associate professors in order to meet the quality requirements of programmes of the University; partnership agreements with diverse organisations including the French Government for the sponsorship of academic staff for postgraduate studies.
Prof. Kundiri in an interview with our correspondent also added that the University has gone into partnership with the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in research on agriculture and crop development.
He added that the university has developed new varieties of finger millet for farmers, electrification of all parts of the university and initiation of the construction of an Independent Power Project on campus.
“We have established a full-fledged university Fire Service, upgraded the University Medical Centre to integrate the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS); we have ensured the maintenance of cordial relations between town and Gown so as to ensure mutual benefit and support,” he said.
According to the Vice Chancellor, “This has led to the community continually relying on the university to support their educational and related socio-economic aspirations.”
He added that the university has developed linkages and partnerships between national and international organisations, which he said, had brought immense benefits in the infrastructural, educational resource and human capacity developments.
Impressed by his achievements, youth groups in Taraba State commended the Vice Chancellor for the infrastructural and academic development going on in the institution.
The groups Jukun Youth Development and Cultural Association (JYDCA), National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) and the National Association of Wapan Students (NAWAS) said the VC has since assumption of office restored sanity and place the university on the path of growth.
They noted that the Vice Chancellor has greatly improved on the skilled manpower, research, teaching, learning and has enthroned global best practices in the university.
“The University under the leadership of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abubakar Kundiri, has witnessed tremendous development. The University has attained full accreditation of the 27 courses being offered in the university.
“Massive construction is ongoing in the university, the establishment of postgraduate school, as well as the establishment of the Faculty of Education, Law, Engineering and Basic Medical Sciences.
“Today, the Federal University Wukari is one of the fastest-growing universities in the country because of the good leadership of the Vice Chancellor,” the group said.