columnBy Ahmed Alhassan
Graduates of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, owe the school more than they can repay. But even if we cannot repay her for placing us squarely, with pride, on our paths of development, we can repay her by contributing to her further improvement.
An important way this can be achieved is through active participation in its alumni association. This indeed acts as an interface between the university on one hand and those who passed through her distinguished walls. It is also a great link between the university community, government and the private sector.
The advantage of this is that we can pool all our diverse resources-intellectual, material and financial-for the development of a higher standard of teaching, research and services, as well as the maintenance of the best university tradition of scholarly integrity and independence.
It is very true that government cannot sustain the development of any university alone, and as such, alternative sources of development funds have to be established. The best practices available is for the stakeholders of the university, being the alumni , to pool their financial, material and intellectual might for such a purpose.
The Federal University of Technology, Minna, has come a very long way since it began serving the nation in 1983. Indeed, yours truly was amongst the pioneer students. In 1983, we were at the Bosso campus, which was, and still exists as a pride and glory to its development. Today, it has a permanent campus called the Gidan Kwano campus.
Saturday, April 14, 2012, will go down in history as a day when a convocation ceremony took place, as well as a meeting of the alumni association. Indeed, there was a well-attended meeting where a collection of former students from different years came together to listen, participate and elect a new set of executive to steer the ship of the alumni association for two years.
2008 was the year the association came into existence under the supervision of the Advancement and Development Office (ADO), and we owe Professor Mohammed Audu who established great commendations for such a foresight. We also give much credence to Professor Udensi, who is the present executive director of the ADO.
With a mandate to collate various resources and harness them towards achieving the goals of the university and source funds for its development, it became paramount to achieve this laudable task through the use of its teeming alumni who are established in both public and private organisations.
Members of the alumni association should remember that most importantly, the Federal University of Technology, Minna is our cradle, and we owe what we are today and what we are to become to its generosity and moulding principles, as well as human capital development methodology.
Each member of the association must be looked upon as a positive key to development, a unit block that must be placed on the foundations built squarely for the development of the university. No member can be ignored or will be ignored; members must be integrated into the development scheme.
It is expected that different branches of the association be established all over the country and subsequently extended to different parts of the world.
Finally, with such distinguished members of the alumni association as wife of the governor of Benue State, Architect Dooshima Yemisi Suswan; Sani Idris Kutigi, member, House of Representatives, several local government chairmen, traditional title holders, managing directors of private organisations and businesses, directors in federal and state ministries, departments and agencies, captains of industries, one is convinced that moving the school to an enviable height will not be difficult.
Ahmed Yahaya Alhassan is the national vice chairman of the Alumni Association of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State.