A former Vice Chancellor of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Professor Riskuwa Shehu has stated that Alumni Associations would make significant impact as major stakeholders in the development of Universities if a more efficient collaborative mechanism is forged between them and the Nigerian University system and its administrators.
He stated this while delivering the key note address of the Conference of Alumni Associations of Nigerian Universities CAANU Third Quarter Meeting of the National Executive Committee which was hosted by the Federal University of Technology Akure Alumni Association on Saturday September 28,2019.
Professor Shehu whose keynote address dwelt on the title “The need for Greater Synergy between Alumni Associations and University Administrators in Nigeria” said Alumni Associations have across the world played significant roles in bridging the Gap between ‘town’and’gown’ bringing into universities wealth of experience, resources and social capital that are critical to creating a robust and conducive teaching, learning and research atmosphere.
He called on Alumni Associations to give more support to augment funding from government
According to Sheu, who is now the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Kano state, Alumni Associations in Nigeria should participate actively in the development of their various institutions like their counterparts in developed countries as they have a major role to play in redeeming the image of the universities.
The Don pointed out that it is very important for Alumni Associations to show more interest and monitor the academic standard in their institutions adding that universities that do not continuously engage their Alumni are bound to miss an excellent opportunity for more development and recognition.
In his remarks at the occasion, the National Chairman CAANU Professor Ahmed Mora commended the Vice Chancellor Professor Joseph Fuwape for accepting to host the conference and for his leadership acumen in maintaining a peaceful academic environment for staff and students.
He expressed his delight with the competence of the CAANU Local Organizing Committee led by Comrade Olaitan Adesomoju. Professor Mora said that it was heartwarming to note that Alumni Associations have in recent times increased their capacities in giving back to their various Alma matas and he urged them not to relent in complement the government in training tomorrow’s leaders.
Welcoming the delegates the Vice Chancellor Professor Joseph Fuwape said he was impressed with the crop of personalities at the conference. He said “I am confident that with the Calibre of delegates present, there is a future for the education system “
He said Tertiary education has many challenges like funding but the alumni associations have a role to play in rewriting the script of the Nigerian education system. He called on Alumni to champion change and influence policies that will support the creation of an enabling environment for learning and research.
On his part the President FUTA Alumni Association Worldwide, Comrade Olaitan Adesomoju said that the role of Alumni Associations in development of education and nation building is important and strategic.
He said FUTA Alumni Association Worldwide has been able to galvanize resources both at home and abroad for the development and advancement of the cause of FUTA in tandem with the visions of and aspirations for the University.
He said the Alumni under his watch has renovated hostel accommodation and lecture theatre, provided bore holes and support indigent and brilliant students with scholarship among other positive contributions. He said with the setting up of a Trust Fund, the FUTA Alumni Association would continue to contribute and give back to the institution