The Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria at the weekend urged the alumni of the university to borrow a leaf from BlackBerry founder, Mike Lazaridis that has donated a total of $250 million to his Alma Mata, Waterloo University.
Mustapha, in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP, said the target of ABU Zaria was to attain the status of Harvard and Oxford universities; a dream he said could only be achieved with the support of its alumni.
The vice-chancellor said that ABU Zaria was proud to have the current vice-president, Arc Namadi Sambo, eight serving state governors, Isa Yagudu (Bauchi), Umaru Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), Usman Saidu Nasamu Dakingari (Kebbi), Patrick Yakowa (Kaduna), Ibrahim Geidam (Yobe), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina) and Danbaba Suntai (Taraba) as its alumni, and said that even the late President Umaru Musa Yar'adua, former Vice-President Abubakar Atiku, ex-governors Donald Duke (Cross-River), Bukar Abba Ibrahim (Yobe), Kabiru Gaya (Kano), Ahmed Makarfi (Kaduna}, Adamu Muazu (Bauchi) and Ibrahim Shekarau (Kano) are all products of ABU Zaria.
"We also boast of captains of industries, heads of government agencies such as the current Central Bank governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and a host of others who graduated from ABU Zaria."
Mustapha said it was not by accident that this calibre of Nigerians passed through his university as it was principally established to develop manpower needs of the country.
"We want all the alumni to join us in the celebration of our 50th year anniversary on October 4 so that they can have first-hand information of the needs of the university. ABU needs some funds to replace and rehabilitate decaying infrastructure, teaching and research facilities. We also know that great universities are those supported by their alumni. A clear example is Harvard which is one of the richest universities in the world on the grounds that it receives over $50 billion as endowment fund from it alumni.
"I expect our alumni to emulate the Black Berry founder who has alone donated over $250 million to his Alma Mata, Waterloo University. And with such support from our alumni, ABU would transform into one of the leading universities in the world. Our target is to compete favorably in terms of size, teaching and research facilities," he added.