By Abba Anwar
While at CY Universite Cergy-Pontoise in France, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state was briefed by the Political Affairs Officer of the university Clara Doly-Tacconi, Joelle Gury of International Relations department, Joachim Amdreas Honecker Master Physics and was acquainted with the need for global partnership between the university and Kano state government.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was already signed between Kano and French government, would also include the university, for the establishment of vibrant synergy for the advancement of education in the state.
Where the state would be sending students to further their education at both Masters and Doctoral Degree program.
Tacconi briefed that, their dream was to develop campuses in Nigeria and other African countries. Emphasizing further that “We have found a good partnership with the Kano state government. And looking at the high ranking nature of the university among others calls for our serious partnership with the state government.”
Saying that their aim was to merge with good partners around Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) thematic areas, adding that, as being confident on Ganduje administration, he added “We have specific funds to develop projects in Africa. Let us know our areas of interest so that we can work together.”
They disclosed to the governor that, their vision was to become a university of diversity, society oriented of International standard. And their mission was to educate new generations to the complex challenges of a globalized society.
Revealing their areas of collaboration, they listed areas like Visiting Professorship, Doctorate Degrees Co-Supervision, internship at Masters and Doctorate degrees and general co-supervision.
The university has 500 PhD students, three Doctoral schools, 22 Research Centres, 60 to 80 Visiting Professors and the university has 7 campuses in place. The university has 17,000 academic staff, with 1,000 Professors included.
They disclosed to the governor that they wanted areas of collaboration between them and the Kano state government in the areas of Visiting Professors, PhD co-supervision and internship at Masters and PhD programs.
In his remarks governor Ganduje assured them that, the university would be part of the institutions to be considered in the already signed MoU between the French government and Kano state, which provides for the sending of lecturers from higher institutions of learning in the state.
“We will be good partners in the area of education. Especially looking at your position in the education ranking in the world. This university will be part of our MoU. And our target is to let our lecturers improve in their areas of specialty and capacity and to also expose them to the research world,” Ganduje assured.
He also disclosed that “The state was tilting towards science and technology. So that we can continue to have productive manpower. While on urban development , as you have just briefed us, we need that in place. Kano being a megacity. Issues like that of security, sanitation, transportation. So also demographic studies.”
The quest for getting a population that is an asset, not a liability in the state, was what governor Ganduje assured that he would make the synergy between them work out successfully, adding that “We are after affordability, accessibility, and sustainability, that is why we are executing free and compulsory primary and secondary education policy in the state.”
On the entourage of the governor there were the Vice-Chancellor of Kano State University of Science and Technology (KUST), Wudil, Professor Shehu Musa Alhaji, Dr Binta Umar Bala, Permanent Secretary ministry of higher education, Abubakar Zakari, the Executive Secretary Kano State Scholarship Board, Usaini Jarma, former Senior Special Assistant to the governor on higher education, who is also the Programme Coordinator of French/Kano governments foreign scholarship programme.
Others on the entourage are the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water Resources, Auwalu Iliasu Riruwai, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Environment, Garba Ahmad, Managing Director, State Water Board, Tukur Makama Getso and Managing Director State Refuse Management and Sanitation Board (REMASAB), Abdullahi Mu’azu Gwarzo.
Governor Ganduje and his entourage proceeded to EPITA Bilingual School of Engineering and Computer Science, the first of all universities in France in the area of Engineering/Computer Science. The school has a working synergy with over 2,000 companies.
According to the Director International Program, Prof. Rabid Haddad 5 campuses that has graduated over 77,000 students. “We have a partnership with 80 universities in 40 countries. We are the main suppliers of French Defence Ministry and other places outside France,” he reveals.
After commending Kano state government for the good effort in sending postgraduate students, under the Kano France Joint Scholarship program, where lecturers from tertiary institutions of learning are being sent to further their studies at the postgraduate level, he assured that they would always be ready to work assiduously with the state.
Professor Michel Hardy, who is the Director with Campus France and Coordinator of the program, conducted round the governor and his entourage to the two universities visited by the governor.
Ganduje said “Our target is to make our lecturers be of high quality and standard. It is a vicious circle, when you have good lecturers you will definitely have good and quality students. We also want them to be exposed to high-quality research work.”
He said “EPITA is a partner in progress. There is always a need for higher partnership. We appreciate what you have done and you have been doing to our state.”
Professor Alhaji, the Vice-Chancellor of KUST, briefed the two universities about the advanced programs achieved in the university, telling them possible areas of collaboration and partnership between KUST Wudil and the French universities.
He reveals that, the university has 6 Faculties with 39 programs and with over 14,000 students.
“Our areas of interest with your universities is that of research, teaching, and exchange of students and de-localization of academic supervision. The Chairman of Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who is the Chancellor of the university, has agreed to bring forth 15 International Professors. And he promised to pay all their 4 years’ salaries,” says the Vice-Chancellor.
While presenting a prospective PhD student, who just completed his Masters programme in Computer Engineering, with a research field “Data Privacy and Identity Theft in Nigerian Banking Sector: Case Study Nigeria, Switzerland, France” Adamu Hussaini, who was from KUST, Wudil, Prof Alhaji said ” We are making double history today. Adamu was employed to teach in the university during Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s administration. And he was sent for this program in France under Governor Ganduje regime also.”
Hussaini said he was highly elated by Ganduje’s critical understanding and commitment in joining hands with the French government to further develop skills with the tertiary institution’s lecturers.
“We are pleased to see that our people-oriented governor Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has joined hand together with the French government in this all-important area. He sent us here to come to be exposed to research as obtained in the global arena. Here we are, Governor visiting us here in France in our universities. This is encouraging and fatherly,” he said.
With his encouraging presentation before the governor, Hussaini assured governor Ganduje, government and people of Kano state that he would continue, alongside other colleagues of him, to be proud to the state. “We shall come back home after our programs and join hands in further developing our academic excellence,” he vows.
He further discloses that in his research area he found out an area that could help deal with bank fraud perpetrated by some unscrupulous elements in Nigeria. Adding that “With the permission of our governor, I want to share my research findings with relevant agencies in Nigeria, all in an effort to help our country address this long-held problem of fraud perpetrated and promoted by some bad eggs.”
Abba Anwar is Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Kano State
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