The Vice Chancellor of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, Saminu Ibrahim has lamented the inability of his university to employ an alumnus of the school who had been able to build drones despite making a Third Class.
Professor Ibrahim said this in an interview published in Daily Trust newspaper on Thursday, where he also derided the notion of Nigerian graduates being unemployable.
In his words, “I don’t believe that (graduates are unemployable), because our work in the university is to give general training and make students creative but it is not possible to teach somebody to fit into a specific job.”
“Many employers are happy with Nigerian graduates. We have a student who graduated with a third class degree and has been able to build a drone and did his youth service with the military.
“Unfortunately, we could not employ him because our condition of service does not allow us to employ graduates with third class degrees, and we regretted it because we would have held on to this guy; he would have been an asset to us.”
EduCeleb.com reports that the ATBU is one of Nigeria’s top technology universities. Since its establishment in 1980, it had continued to build on its strength in engineering courses.
The National Automotive Council had recently visited the school to commission some specialised equipment it donated to the Department of Automotive Engineering. The university is among the first in Nigeria to offer such a course in addition to Mechatronics and Systems Engineering and Computer and Communication.
Ibrahim also lamented in the interview that inadequate funding was stalling a lot of research and innovations in the university while noting how the university has been seeking collaborations to bridge the gaps.
“The university was set up by government with the capacity to carry 5,000 students because of the gap between researchers and entrepreneurs. We have a lot of ideas and inventions that ended only on shelves and we are trying to close the gap between the academia and the entrepreneurs with government providing enabling environment so that the inventions would end up as products for people to use. That is why the university has chosen to establish Science and Technology Park.
“ATBU has taken membership of the World Technopolis Association (WTA) which would, together with similar bodies, play a part in the development of the park. We have also formed partnership with universities within and outside the country and most especially with the Chungnam National University (CNU), Daejeon, Korea, to strengthen research and development while a number of partners have offered to set up ICT hubs in the park.
“Another organisation is helping us to establish an incubation center and with the support of the National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI), we shall have something on ground.”