Prof. Kabiru Bala, Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State, has said the serious shortage of manpower in academic units is negatively impacting the excellence in teaching, research and community service.
The vice-chancellor made the remark during the institution’s 42nd convocation ceremony in Zaria on Saturday.
According to Bala, the challenge resulted from government policies and embargo on employment. “Therefore, we call on the federal government to lift the embargo on recruitment for universities to address the widening gaps.
“ABU is facing challenges of financial sustainability since the aftermath of COVID-19, serious legal battles that affect its finances and other government policies that exert pressure on its financial standing,” he said.
Bala called for greater collaboration between all stakeholders to fashion out more innovative ways of ensuring smooth running of the university.
He said the university has recognised the importance of adopting long-term strategies towards attaining financial sustainability which includes resuscitation of endowment foundation among others.
The Vice Chancellor said a total of 35,758 candidates are for the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 sessions for conferment of first degrees, postgraduate diplomas and higher degrees at the Diamond Jubilee Convocation.
Bala said of the 35,758 graduands, 8,842 bagged higher degrees, with 869 Ph.D; 60 M.Phil; 6,179 Masters; and 1,734 Postgraduate Diplomas.
He added that 26,916 would receive Bachelors Degrees out of which 273 have First Class, 5,647 Second Class Upper Division; 17,567 Second Class Lower Division, 2,899 Third Class Honours, 45 Pass degrees, and 485 unclassified degrees.
He said four outstanding personalities were to be conferred with the institution’s honorary doctorate degrees for their immeasurable contributions to humanity.
“The honorary degree awardees include former military governor of old Kano State, Col. Sani Bello (Rtd), and Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ms Amina Mohammed.
“Others are former Bursar of Ahmadu Bello University, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa-Jibo, and Katsina-based philanthropist, Hajiya Fatima Kurfi,’’ he said.
However, the Vice-Chancellor said the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ms Amina Mohammed, was unavoidably absent and she would be conferred with the honorary degree at later date.
Earlier, the Chancellor, Nnaemeka Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha, admonished the graduands to think creatively on how they can become self employed rather than queuing up to join the labour market for a monthly salary.
He noted that the 21st century is the age of digital and social revolution and technology has become the main access to literally all occupations, professions and vocations.
“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the limitless opportunities that now exist for brilliant men and women like you.
“I urge you to venture to seize these opportunities, conquer the world and make it a better place with innovative ideas and always be appreciative that your ABU education has provided you with the pedastal for self-fulfillment
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