A delegation from Lincoln University, Malaysia led by Nigeria Ambassador to Malaysia, Dr. Hajara Ibrahim Salim, last Tuesday, visited the Executive Secretary (ES), National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed mni, FMR, FNAL, to intimate him of their proposal to establish a private branch campus in Kumo, Gombe State.
Receiving the delegation, Prof. Rasheed stated that he had been looking forward to having the interface with the team. He expressed delight at the interest by the Malaysian University now that the Commission had commenced a review of its trans-border education policy meant to promote a healthy rivalry with universities all over the world.
He noted that universities in Malaysia had remained role models for many institutions, explaining that having been to Malaysia, he had first-hand knowledge of workings of their higher institutions, which, he said, had encouraged NUC in designing its trans-border education policy and guideline. He, therefore, informed the delegation of his awareness that Lincoln University was already operating in Botswana and South Africa, stressing that it would be encouraging for them to establish one in Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary further informed them that the Commission oversees university education in Nigeria. He stated that even with 203 universities as at date, it was still not enough to cater for the population of Nigeria. He said Nigeria was considered as one of the fastest growing population in the world. With the current growth, the country in the next 30years might be competing with India and China. This, he said, had made the NUC to start planning for the youths by ensuring that they had access to adequate and proper education.
Prof. Rasheed agreed that universities in Malaysia were famous in science breakthrough and expressed confidence that the proposed Lincoln University would follow the same direction. He urged them to add medical faculties and set standard in science education when ready for operations. The Executive Secretary explained that setting up private university required passion beyond just money, saying that many universities had collapsed in the past because their proprietors had the notion that it was solely set up for financial purpose. He acknowledged that once the campus successfully take-off, Kumo town would be alive and emerge as a centre of academic activities.
The NUC scribe advised that universities should not be treated like companies where the owners expect immediate profit, but must be seen more as a social service.
He also urged the promoters to ensure that it enters into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Gombe State Government to sponsor its indigenes’ in the proposed University.
Prof. Rasheed said that once the Academic brief, Physical Master Plan and University Laws were ready, NUC would work with the university to ensure that the required physical facilities were matched on ground.
Earlier, Dr. Hajara, who was accompanied by some officials of the Malaysian University, had told the Executive Secretary that Lincoln University was already in the Asian nation, and came with the mind of running same in Nigeria as a private enterprise and to be located at a proposed site of Kumo.
Ambassador Salim said she was overwhelmed by the warm reception accorded to her and the entire delegation. She recalled her experience and elation in Malaysia when the Lincoln University management visited her with the intent to establish Lincoln University in Gombe State, Nigeria.
She formally presented the letter of notification to the Executive Secretary and promised that Lincoln University when established would be run purely as a private University. She pointed out clearly that there would be no government interference or takeover which was already in the MOU signed by Lincoln University Management and the Gombe State Government.
In the Lincoln University Delegation were: the President, Dr. Anriya Bhammit; Pro-Chancellor, Prof. Haria Bibi Florma; Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, Abubakar Yusuf; Deputy Registrar, Murtadho Alao; and Nigerian Academic in the University, Prof. Sabur Adesanya. Also in the team were those of Gombe State, Honourable Usman Bello Kumo; Dr. Ghaji Bello; Honourable Meshack Audu lauco; Abubakar Muazu and Ibrahim Babani as well as immediate past Deputy Executive Secretary, (Admin) NUC, Dr. Gidado Bello Kumo, who is an indigene of Kumo, Gombe State.
At the meeting were NUC Deputy Executive Secretary, (Admin), Mr. Christopher Maiyaki; Directors of Finance and Account, Mr. Samuel Onazi; Establishment of Private Universities, Constance Goddy-Nnadi; Human Resources, Boniface Odum; Open, Distance and e-learning, Eng. Kayode Odedina; Students, Mr. Sunday Essien as well as Visiting Prof. Sani Abba.