Ahmadu Bello University

Ahmadu Bello University Zaria is a federal government research university located in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria,[2] opened in 1962 as the University of Northern Nigeria.[2] It was founded by and is now named for Ahmadu Bello, first premier of Northern Nigeria.[3]

Ahmadu Bello University
North gate of Samaru campus, 2021
Former names
University of Northern Nigeria
TypePublic, research
Established4 October 1962
ChancellorAlfred Achebe
Vice-ChancellorProfessor Kabir Bala[1]

11°04′N 7°42′E / 11.067°N 7.700°E / 11.067; 7.700
ColoursGreen and white   

The university operates a main campus at Samaru; a satellite from nearby Kongo, and a pre-degree school in Funtua, approximately 85 kilometres (53 mi) away. The main campus houses administrative offices and faculties of physical sciences, life sciences, social sciences, arts and languages, education, environmental design, engineering, medical sciences, agricultural sciences, and research centres. Kongo hosts faculties of law and administration, the latter addresses accounting, business administration, local government and development studies as well as public administration.[4]

Undergraduate and graduate programmes include affiliate degrees, vocational programmes and remedial courses. The university has one of the largest teaching hospitals in the country to support medical teaching and research.[5]

History Edit

First years Edit

As Nigeria approached independence on October 1, 1960, it had only a single degree awarding institution: the University College, Ibadan, established in 1948. The Ashby Report, published a month before independence, supported regional government proposals to add new universities in each of Nigeria's then three regions, and its capital Lagos.[6]

In May 1960, the Northern Region had upgraded the School of Arabic Studies in Kano to become the Ahmadu Bello College for Arabic and Islamic Studies and following the Ashby Report it was decided to create a University of Northern Nigeria at Zaria rather than Kano. The new university was to take over facilities of the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology at Samaru; the Ahmadu Bello College in Kano; the Agricultural Research Institute at Samaru; the Institute of Administration at Zaria, and the Veterinary Research Institute at Vom on the Jos Plateau. Legislation establishing the new university was passed by the Northern Region legislature in 1961.[7][8]

When the university opened on 4 October 1962, it had four faculties comprising 15 departments,[9] though there were only 426 students.[10]

Department of Microbiology, 2021

The challenges were enormous. Over 60 years of British colonial rule, education in the Northern Region had lagged far behind that of the two southern regions. Few students from the north had qualifications for university entrance, and fewer still northerners had qualifications for teaching appointments. Of the original student body, only 147 were from the north.[11]

ABU's first vice chancellor was British, as were most professorial appointments. There were only two Nigerians — mathematician Dr Iya Abubakar and Adamu Baikie in the faculty of education — in the first round of faculty appointments. Facilities on the main Samaru campus were inadequate, and integration of physically separate, pre-existing institutions was difficult.[12]

Nevertheless, under the vice chancellorship of New Zealand born Norman Alexander, academic and administrative staff were recruited, new departments and programmes created, major building projects undertaken, and student enrollment grew rapidly. By the end of Alexander's tenure in 1966, there were a thousand students were enrolled.[13]

Middle 1970s Edit

Alexander was succeeded by the university's first native Nigerian vice chancellor, Ishaya Shuaibu Audu. He was a pediatrician; former associate professor at the University of Lagos, and Hausa born in Wusasa, near Zaria.[14]

Ahmadu Bello University was seriously affected by the coups and anti-Igbo riots of 1966 but continued to expand. Student enrollment had been constrained by A-level training at secondary schools so in 1968 the university established its own School of Basic Studies to provide pre-degree training on campus.[9]: 270  Students entering the School of Basic Studies could matriculate and complete a bachelor's degree in four years.[3]

Despite opposition to the School of Basic Studies, it provided a stream of candidates for degree courses and the university expanded rapidly. Ten years after being founded there were over 7,000 students, over half in degree programs and 2,333 had graduated. The University of Ibadan had graduated only 615 in its first ten years.[15][9]: 267–282 

Campus sign, 2021

Kongo campus, close to Zaria old city taught public administration and provided in-service training for local government throughout the north of Nigeria. The Faculty of Education taught and also managed teacher training colleges across the northern states. At Kano campus, renamed Abdullahi Bayero College, Hausa, Arabic and Islamic studies courses were taught.[7]

Although founded to be the University of Northern Nigeria, commentators have observed that more than any other of Nigeria's universities, Ahmadu Bello has universally served students from every state of the Nigerian federation.[16][9]: 280, 281 

Professorial staffing to serve the burgeoning student enrollments and course offerings was a potential limitation during this period. In the early 1970s relatively abundant funding made it possible to send some senior academic staff to overseas institutions to complete advanced degrees. A small but increasing number of Nigerians with Ph.D.s or other advanced degrees were returning from abroad (but ABU had to compete with other Nigerian universities to recruit them). In the meantime, appointment of expatriate teaching staff was essential and it expanded greatly and diversified in nationalities. Vice chancellor Audu endeavored to balance the goals of Nigerianization (and "northernization") of ABU's professors with the commitment to maintaining all programmes at an international level of academic quality.[3]

By 1975, this balance was strained. The teaching faculty remained more than half expatriate overall; at senior levels still more so.[9]: 307  The development of Nigerian staffing (and especially of northern-origin teaching staff) was perceived as too slow. In 1975, ABU turned toward a much heavier emphasis on internal staff development as it adopted the Graduate Assistantship programme. Under this programme, the best graduates from the departments’ undergraduate programmes are recruited to join the department as staff-in-training and undertake advanced training as they gain on-the-job experience. Within a few years, a significant proportion of ABU senior staff were products of the internal training programme. From 1975, the proportion of expatriate teaching staff diminished rapidly.[9]: 196–219 

Later development Edit

Umar Suleiman Hall, 2021

Beginning in the early 1980s, the university was hit with sharply reduced funding as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank imposed their Structural Adjustment Programme on the country. The value of the Nigeria's currency plummeted in relation to others and staff salaries reduced in real terms. Funding for premises, library acquisitions, and other resources was curtailed. Competition for students, staff and funding with other national institutions in what had been a rapidly expanding university system increased.[8]

During a peaceful, May 1986 university rally against implementation of the Structural Adjustment Programme, security forces killed 20 demonstrators and bystanders.[17] Over the years, ABU has been affected by national political instability. The very fact of ABU's strikingly "national character"[18] (in drawing students and staff from an unusually broad range of Nigeria's regional, ethnic and religious communities) might be the reason the institution is inclined to internal instability. Hence, ABU has been among Nigeria's universities that have suffered most from closures.[11]

Senate Building, 2021

Yet ABU continues to occupy a particularly important place among Nigerian universities. As it approaches its half-century anniversary, ABU can claim to be the largest and the most extensive of universities in Sub-Saharan Africa.[19] It covers a land area of 7,000 hectares (27 sq mi) and encompasses 12 academic faculties, a postgraduate school and 82 academic departments. It has five institutes, six specialized centers, a Division of Agricultural Colleges, demonstration secondary and primary schools, as well as extension and consultancy services which provide services to the wider society. The total student enrollment in the university's degree and sub-degree programme is about 35,000, drawn from every state of Nigeria, Africa, and the rest of world. There are about 1,400 academic and research staff and 5,000 support staff.

The university has nurtured two new institutions: Bayero University Kano and the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University of Technology, Bauchi. Some 27 tertiary institutions made up of colleges of education, polytechnics and schools of basic or preliminary studies are affiliated to it.

Despites the numerous achievements of this reputable institution, there are some challenges that the Institution faces. These challenges vary from one section to another. For instance, in terms of infrastructure, the school does not have enough classrooms for the students from some sections. Based on that, clashes occur on venues especially in the morning when most classes hold. Again, even for sections that have classrooms, those classes tend to be unfit for the number of the students. Another challenge that has not yet been checked relating to infrastructure is that of hostels or Hall of residence as it's widely known. The hostels available for students are not capable of accommodating all the students interested in residing within the campus. As a result of that, many new students are stranded on the campus especially at the beginning of the session, and others that are lucky get squatting spaces with friends and family that have already gotten hostels.

Administration Edit

Ahmadu Bello University has a chancellor as its ceremonial head, while the vice-chancellor is chief executive and academic officer. The vice-chancellor is usually appointed for a five-year, non-renewable term.

Vice chancellors[20]
Tenure Profession
1 Norman Alexander 1961–1966 Physicist
2 Ishaya Audu 1966–1975 Medical doctor
3 Iya Abubakar 1975–1978 Mathematician
4 Oladipo Akikugbe 1978–1979 Medical doctor
5 Ango Abdullahi 1979–1986 Agricultural scientist
6 Adamu N Muhammad 1986–1991 Entomologist
7 Daniel Iyorkegh Saror 1991–1995 Veterinarian
8 Major-General Mamman Kontagora 1995–1998 [21][a]
9 Abdullahi Mahadi 1999–2004 Historian
10 Shehu Usman Abdullahi 2004–2009 Veterinarian
11 Jarlath Udoudo Umoh 2009–2009 Veterinarian
12 Aliyu Mohammed 2009–2010 Linguist (English)
13 Abdullahi Mustapha 2010–2015 Pharmacist
14 Ibrahim Garba[22] 2015–2020 Geologist
15 Kabir Bala 2020–Date Construction
  1. ^ Sole-administrator appointed by then head of state Sani Abacha after a major conflict.[21]

Library Edit

Kashim Ibrahim Library serves university students and academic staff from the main campus and satellites.[5] As of 2006, its collections include over 1.2 millions books; 66,000 periodicals, and other learning materials.[23]https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libphilprac/78

Kashim Ibrahim Library, 2022

The library was established in 1955 comprising a single small room, later converted to a staff club. In 1963, a replacement building was constructed at a cost of $39,000 named for the then state governor.[5]

Notable alumni Edit

The Ahmadu Bello University is notable for producing prominent people and Nigerian leaders, including many former and current state governors and ministers. Amongst the alumni are:

Alumni Association Edit

Ahmadu Bello University Alumni Association
PresidentAhmed Tijani Mora
Location, ,
ColorsOrange and Blue    
AffiliationsAhmadu Bello University
WebsiteOfficial website

Ahmadu Bello University Alumni Association is an alumni organization for former students of the Ahmadu Bello University.[25] The alumni association is often represented by the national president of the association in the governing council of the university. This is necessary for the association to make a direct input into the university's policies.

The national body of the association currently has 17 National Executive Committee (NEC) members who manage the affairs of the association in alignment with the provisions of the association constitution.[26] The incumbent national president of the alumni association is Ahmed Tijani Mora, a renowned pharmacist and former registrar and chief executive officer of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria.[27]

History Edit

The alumni association was founded in the early 1960s by the graduating class which included architect Chief Fola Alade, Chief Lai Balogun and Professor Ayodele Awojobi.[28] Today, the alumni association has branches across the federation with the secretariat at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Since the inception of the association, the governing council of Ahmadu Bello University has maintained a strong working relationship with the association with the aim of developing the university.[29] Initially, the association was under the supervision of the deputy vice chancellor of the university. Today it is directly under the office of the vice chancellor and supervised by the vice chancellor.

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ NUC. "List of Universities". Archived from the original on 26 April 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Ahmadu Bello University". Ahmadu Bello University. Archived from the original on 9 July 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "History Of ABU Zaria: The Largest University In Sub Saharan Africa". 2021-05-03. Archived from the original on 2022-10-04. Retrieved 2022-05-04.
  4. ^ "History Of ABU Zaria: The Largest University In Sub Saharan Africa | The Abusites". 2021-05-03. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  5. ^ a b c "Kashim Ibrahim Library". Ahmadu Bello. Archived from the original on 2021-10-05. Retrieved 2021-10-05.
  6. ^ Sir Eric Ashby (1960). Investment in Education: The Report of the Commission on Post-School Certificate and Higher Education (Report). Lagos.
  7. ^ a b press_admin (2022-09-12). "History of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria(ABU)". PressPayNg Blog. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  8. ^ a b Utuk, Isaac Efiong (1975). "Britain Britain's Colonial Administr s Colonial Administrations and De ations and Developments, elopments, 1861-1960: An Analysis of Britain's Colonial Administrations and Developments in Nigeria".
  9. ^ a b c d e f A History of Ahmadu Bello University, 1962–1987. Zaria: Ahmadu Bello University Press. 1989.
  10. ^ "History | Ahmadu Bello University". abu.edu.ng. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  11. ^ a b "History | Ahmadu Bello University". abu.edu.ng. Retrieved 2023-05-12.
  12. ^ Joliba (2020-05-19). "Ahmadu Bello University (ABU)". Joliba. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  13. ^ "Obituary:Sir Norman Alexander". The Independent. 5 April 1997. Archived from the original on 2012-11-05. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  14. ^ "History Of ABU Zaria: The Largest University In Sub Saharan Africa | The Abusites". 2021-05-03. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  15. ^ Ten Years: The First Decade of Ahmadu Bello University, October 1962-October 1972. Zaria: Ahmadu Bello University Press. 1972.
  16. ^ Beckett, Paul; O’Connell, James (1977). Education and Power in Nigeria. Hodder and Stoughton. pp. 26–30.
  17. ^ "Structural Adjustment Program". The Whirled Bank Group. Archived from the original on 18 November 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  18. ^ Ramalan, Ibrahim (2019-03-15). "ABU matriculates more than 13,000 students for 2018/2019 academic session". Daily Nigerian. Archived from the original on 2021-09-28. Retrieved 2022-09-14.
  19. ^ Manning, Patrick (June 1980). "Review: Mahdi Adamu. The Hausa Factor in West African History. (Ahmadu Bello University History Series)...". The American Historical Review. 85 (3): 689–690. doi:10.1086/ahr/85.3.689-a. ISSN 1937-5239.
  20. ^ Undergraduate Student Handbook. Ahmadu Bello University Press. 2014. p. 15. ISBN 978-978-125-139-9.
  21. ^ a b Kieh, George Klay (2007). Beyond state failure and collapse: making the state relevant in Africa. Lexington Books. p. 174. ISBN 978-0-7391-0892-5.
  22. ^ "ABU gets new VC". The Nation Newspaper. 14 April 2015. Archived from the original on 2 July 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  23. ^ Nok, Grace (2006). "The Challenges of Computerizing a University Library in Nigeria: the Case of Kashim Ibrahim Library, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria" (PDF). Library Philosophy and Practice. 78. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-06-06.
  24. ^ "Staff Profile". ihvnigeria.org. Archived from the original on 2019-10-04. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  25. ^ "Emir Of Zazzau Pledges Support For ABU Alumni Association". Leadership Newspaper. Retrieved 10 November 2015.[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ "Alumni Should Give Back To Alma-Mater – Mora". Leadership Newspaper. Archived from the original on 25 October 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  27. ^ "ABU has done well for Northern agricultural development – Alumni". Daily Trust. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  28. ^ "Mora Elected ABU Alumni President". Leadership Newspaper. Archived from the original on October 16, 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  29. ^ "Intellect and infrastructure". The Nation Newspaper. 13 October 2015. Archived from the original on 24 October 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.

External links Edit