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Why ABU is considered a frontrunners in Nigeria, by Tenuche

By Guardian Nigeria
04 December 2022   |   4:07 am
Professor Marietu Ohunene Tenuche, Vice Chancellor, Prince Abubakar Audu University, Anyigba, Kogi State, was born on 29th September, 1959. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science, Second Class (Upper Division), in Political Science....

Marietu Ohunene Tenuche

Professor Marietu Ohunene Tenuche, Vice Chancellor, Prince Abubakar Audu University, Anyigba, Kogi State, was born on 29th September, 1959. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science, Second Class (Upper Division), in Political Science, from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, in 1981 and her Master and Doctorate degrees from the same institution.

She started her career as a lecturer with Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin in 1982 where she was until 1992. She was appointed Lecturer I in the Department of Political Science of the University at the inception of the institution in 2000.  She rose through the ranks to become Professor of Political Science in 2011.

She had served as the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences (2000-2006), Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic (2004-2006, and 2008-2011) and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration (2011-2013). Until her current appointment as Vice Chancellor, Professor Tenuche was the Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies and Chair, Committee of Deans and Directors.

Professor Tenuche was a delegate, representing the North Central Geo-Political zone at the 2014 National Conference. She has attended conferences in and outside Nigeria, and served as professional adviser and consultant to the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Professor Tenuche has received several awards and honours, with the “Worthy Alumnus” Award conferred on her by the Department of Political Science, ABU, Zaria, in 2018 as her most cherished.

She holds the traditional title of OyinOiza Ebira conferred on her by the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Alhaji (Dr.) Ado Ibrahim, in 2003. Her research interest is majorly on political economy and gender issues.

Inspiration to study at ABU
WHAT inspired me to study in ABU was simply because of the reputation the university has built over the years as a flagship of discipline and excellence in knowledge. The truth is that I wasn’t disappointed with that decision, and that explained why I acquired all my degrees from the institution. My B.Sc and M.Sc degrees in Political Science, in 1981 and 1992, respectively, as well as the PhD in Political Science in 2001, were all obtained from ABU.

The ABU experience
ABU has been the flagship of academic excellence in Nigeria. As the first full-fledged University north of the Niger, it has built a reputation that is exclusively based on the principles of hard work, commitment, excellence, innovation and competence. On coming to the University, therefore, it was easy for me to key into these principles, and it has been the foundation of my approach to life as a whole since then.

As a Vice-Chancellor therefore, those outstanding attributes of my alma mater have guided me substantially in my decision making, leading to academic advancement of Prince Abubakar Audu University. Since coming on board, for instance, we have been able to introduce six new academic programmes after a successful resource verification by the National Universities Commission (NUC). These include B.Ed. Educational Planning and Administration, B.Sc. Human Anatomy, B.Sc. Human Physiology, B.NSc. Nursing Science, B.Sc. Pharmacology and BMLS. Medical Laboratory Science. In addition, we have all programmes on offer in the University fully accredited by the NUC.

Challenges in Nigeria’s education sector and implication for national growth
Number one problem is funding. University education in particular is a very expensive one. It is hard to raise quality graduates without committing huge resources; that is why you hear of all sort of agitations for funding every now and then. But then you won’t blame the government alone for the problem because there are other competing interests that must be catered for. To solve the problem, in my view, critical stakeholders, including parents, must come together and agree on a framework that would ensure shared financial responsibilities. Then, there are issues of discipline among staff and students; that has to improve. Issues of extortion, sexual harassment, cultism and other social vices have eaten deep into the fabric of university system. All stakeholders must come together to address the issues.

Most pleasant and trying moment in ABU
What I appreciated most in ABU is the diversity and open-door policy of the University that brought together, people from diverse groups from within and outside Nigeria. About 8 of my lecturers were from countries other than Nigeria; Britain, Uganda, Cameroun and so on. We had students from different parts of Nigeria. These made me imbibe a deep sense of understanding and accommodation which have helped in shaping my world view generally.

Why ABU as one of the frontrunners in Nigeria
The founding fathers of ABU were committed to having an institution that would not just cater for the education needs of the vast population, but also a quality one at that. The institution was seen as the best centre for raising generations of Nigerians who would be integral in designing the policy and structural framework and its implementation in a post-independent Nigeria. Therefore, reputable scholars of diverse disciplines and orientations were attracted, not just from within the country, but from across the world. Some of these scholars had very radical orientation and outlook, while others were fairly conventional in their world outlook. These mix in my view, is the strength of ABU, and it helped in shaping personalities who have distinguished themselves as household names in developmental issues across the world today.

These notwithstanding, is there room for improvement? Of course yes! When I look at the world ranking of universities using whatever parameters available, it is quite clear that universities in Nigeria are not up there yet. So I want to look up one day and hear that ABU is competing with Ivy League institutions in America and Western Europe.

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