MacArthur Foundation provides $15m support to ABU for learning and research

Zaria (Kaduna State) – The MacArthur Foundation Africa’s director, Dr. Kole Shettima, announced on Wednesday that the organisation has given Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) in Zaria more than $15,538, 896 to improve teaching and research.

During his presentation of ABU’s Diamond Jubilee Public Lecture, “The Challenges of Quality Higher Education in Africa,” the director disclosed this.

Shettima expressed the foundation’s excitement about its involvement at ABU Zaria, saying that the installation of fibre optics is one aspect of the organization’s contribution.

He continued by saying that plan also involved linking the Samaru and Kongo campuses of the university with the ABU Teaching Hospital, Shika.

“The foundation also supported 67 Ph.d and 87 masters’ students among other interventions.

“I appeal to the government and other key stakeholders to increase funding and transparency in the higher education sector in Nigeria.

“The transparency and accountability component of our support is to ensure efficiency in service delivery in the sector, and stem the ‘Japa Syndrome’,” he said.

Shettima urged the alumni of ABU to support their alma-mater to augment government efforts to salvage the institution from its numerous challenges.

Earlier, Prof. Kabiru Bala, the Vice-Chancellor of ABU, acknowledged the long-term relationship between the Foundation and ABU.

Bala stressed that beside Tetfund, no individual, local or international organisation had supported the University like MacArthur Foundation.

“The university community remains indebted to the director of the foundation for its support in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure, digitisation and automation of libraries and establishment of some centres.

“The centres established include the Centre for Development Communication; Rural Finance; Veterinary Public Health and Reproductive Health among others,” the vice-chancellor said.

He noted that ABU was established in 1962 and the Diamond Jubilee Celebration ought to have been celebrated in Oct/Nov. 2022, but the industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) made it impossible until now.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Munnir Ja’afaru, urged government to prioritise funding of tertiary education in Nigeria, adding that education was the bedrock of the nation’s development.

He said that it was a collective responsibility to ensure that these tertiary institutions had the necessary resources to flourish.

Ja’afaru urged the alumni of ABU to rally together and aid the institution as ABU had become a national asset that must be protected from potential collapse.