Etsu Nupe Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar has inaugurated the Board of Trustees of Edusoko University, Bida, a university conceived by sons and daughters of Nupe land to cater to the educational needs of the people.
The Board of Trustees inaugurated yesterday by the Etsu Nupe at his palace in Bida has former governor of Niger State Engineer Abdulkadir Kure and the chairman/editor-in-chief of LEADERSHIP Newspapers, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, as the chairman and secretary respectively.
Other members of the board are: Aliyu Dalhatu, former minister of agriculture; Prof. Sheikh Abdullah, former vice-chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna; Prof. Mohammed Abdullahi Daniya, Alhaji Manzuma Tsoeda Mamma, Alhaji Aliyu Abdullahi, Alhaji Muhammad Egba Enagi, Alhaji Haruna Yahaya, Niger State Grand Qadi Alhaji Muhammad Abdulmumini Enagi, and rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Engineer Abdullahi Sule.
Inaugurating the Board of Trustees the Etsu Nupe said the occasion marked the beginning of the journey towards actualising the vision of having a university that will avail the people of Nupe land and beyond access to university education.
He said those appointed into the board were appointed based on their contributions in their chosen career to humanity and the development of the society at large and that he therefore had the confidence that they would deliver in their assignment to establish a worthwhile university.
According to the royal father, despite the presence of two universities - IBB University, Lapai, and FUT Minna - there were always cases of students not gaining admission.
"Many candidates have been looking for admission. If 5,000 or 10,000 candidates are looking for admission, hardly would 2000 gain admission. So this university will open new admission opportunity for qualified candidates. You have to help us; you have done well in all your areas; this is another task for you," the Etsu charged the Board of Trustees' members.
Also in an interview, the Etsu Nupe said he expected the board to come up with practical steps towards the takeoff of the university within six months, adding that the board would be responsible for the recruitment of qualified lecturers as well as the management of funds.
He said: "We have identified the structures and we have already submitted our academic brief to National Universities Commission, NUC. They are going through it. The next thing is for them to send inspectors - to inspect our facilities which are already prepared. In terms of classrooms, laboratories, library, we are prepared."
After the inauguration, LEADERSHIP chairman/editor-in-chief Mr. Nda-Isaiah pledged the commitment of the members of the Board of Trustees to the project, while delivering the apology of the chairman of the board who was unable to attend the inaugural ceremony.
The secretary of the board noted that the project would be the biggest legacy in the entire Nupe land and that the members of the board recognised the trust and confidence reposed in them and, as such, will give all they have in dedication to the assignment.
After the first meeting of the board, Nda-Isaiah told journalists: "Today is our first meeting and, as you can see, we have taken some decisions. Already, a lot of progress has gone into the planning. By the time we meet the second time, we would have a clear road-map. As to whether the project will start this year, I think that decision will be taken by this board in its next meeting."
On sources of funds, he said: "Like all private universities, we intend to develop multiple sources of income. Already, some funds have gone in now; some things are already happening; a lot of properties including land space have been donated. We are looking at the equipment at this stage. We will continue to fine-tune the funding and do what we have to do to make sure that it is a success."