• My Journey As An Academic & Emergence As Provost, FCE (T) Bichi

•How I Met The College 8 Years Ago, Academically, Infrastructurally

• Challenges Facing The College’s Take Off As Varsity of Education (T)

• My Exciting and Sad Moments As Provost, Unfulfilled Dreams & Legacies

• Commissions 7 TETFUND’s Historic Projects, Thanks Bogoro, Echono, NCCE, Bichi Emir, Staff, Students


By Waziri Isa Adam


Prof, can you please share with us the story of your journey as an academic, to your emergence as the Provost of FCET Bichi?

My journey as an academic started in 1995 with my appointment as a Graduate Assistant in the Animal Production Programme of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi. Then, under the leadership of Prof Abubakar Sani Sambo as the Vice-chancellor. It was at ATBU, that I rose through the ranks to become Lecturer I in 2004. I was promoted to the rank of Senior Lecturer in 2005 by the Bayero University Kano, in the then, newly established Department of Animal Science. In 2012, the Bayero University, Kano appointed me a Professor of Animal Science with specialization in Animal Products Processing. Later, I served the Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State, on sabbatical as Dean of Agriculture in 2014. In 2015, after passing through due process, the then President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan appointed me the Provost, Federal College of Education (Technical), Bichi, Kano State. My appointment was renewed for the second and final term of 4 years by President Muhammadu Buhari, the appointment will come to an end on the 23rd of May, 2023. This is the little I can say on my journey as an academic, so far.

You successfully steered affairs of the college for a rare period of Eight years. Could you please share with us the high and low points of the journey?

Management of people is a challenge, generaly. In the last 8 years we passed through different kinds of challenges in the management of the Institution. I considered the persistent management of scarced resources particularly funds as the main challenge and our lowest point. In most cases, the available funds were grossly inadequate to meet the prevailing needs, especially the issues of utility such as electricity and water supply. Also, the maintenance of hostels, classrooms and conveniences. However, I consider the introduction of new academic programmes as well as strengthening the existing ones at both NCE and Degree levels as our high points. Also, the College’s increased in enrolments into NCE programmes and the conduct of convocation of outstanding graduates from 2012 to date is another high point.

After exiting the College, if you look back at your days, as Provost, what are the things that will always excite you? and what are the things that may make you sad?

It will always excite me to remember that we were able to secure the 640 hecters of land allocated to the College by the Kano State Government in 1986. Then, completion of the building of five schools, as well as the administrative block at the College’s Permanent site along Shanono road that I initiated. However, It will sadden me if the management of the College failed to continue the good legacies of its predecessors and that of it founding fathers.

You are seen and respected by many as one of the people that championed the proposal for the conversion of the college into a University of Technical Education. – what prompted the decision to commence the effort, and what is the state of the proposed University as at today?

The importance of basic education in the development efforts of any nation cannot be overemphasized. The Colleges of Education in the country are statutorily responsible for making available teachers for the basic education sector. The current shortage of qualified teachers being experienced in the primary and junior secondary schools in most parts of the country can only be addressed by strengthening the College of Education system. This can be achieved through increased enrolment through incentives, improved welfare of staff and students and rapid infrastructural growth. However, the need for increased access to university education remains vital for the development of nations. Therefore, a balance must be stroke between the two systems for effective national growth.
In my view, the idea to convert Federal College of Education (Technical), Bichi Kano to Federal University of Technical Education through legislation was conceived by the Distinguished Senator Barau I. Jibrin in view the rapid population growth of the north-west and the country in general. As well as the dramatic increase in infrastructure in the College, likewise the quantum jumps in number of qualified teaching and non-teaching personnel from 2015 to date. The idea was considered “the legislative innovation” of the Senator. The Bill for the establishment of Federal University of Education Technical, Bichi has passed through first and second reading and currently awaiting the assent of Mr. President.

What can you say was the state of the College, academically and infrastructurally, as at the time you took over its mantle of leadership compared with today?

In all modesty, the College has gone through rapid growth academically with the introduction of additional NCE and Degree programmes. Presently, the College offers 78 accredited courses from nine schools at NCE level against 32 from 5 schools in 2015. The College is running eleven-degree programmes with approval by National Universities Commission. When I resumed office in 2015, there were only eight staff members with Ph.Ds in the College. However, through systematic staff development plan with the support of Tertiary Education Trust Fund currently there are 55 academic staff that have completed their Ph.Ds and 63 others that are currently pursuing their Ph.Ds in different Universities.
In terms of infrastructure, the College has received tremendous boost with additional lecture theatres, laboratories, workshops and classrooms mostly situated at the permanent site. The existing facilities of the College were renovated at various times. With the support of Senator Barau I. Jibrin, we completed the Construction of ultra-modern entrepreneurship and skills acquisition centres at Kunchi, Kabo, Ganduje in D/Tofa Local Government Areas of Kano State. These facilities will be put to use any moment from now.

What can you say are your fulfilled, unfulfilled dreams and best legacies at FCET Bichi?

I dreamt of relocating the College to its permanent site, and all glory to Allah, we were able to achieve this within this period. I also desired the establishment of Centre for study of Out-of-School Children Phenomenon in the College, a dream that remains in the pipeline. Already, we have submitted a proposal on that to the Federal Ministry of Education. I hope it will come to fruition in not a too distant future. I considered our ability to strengthen the academic base of the College with the training and re-training of the existing staff and recruitment of additional 550 teaching and 250 non-teaching staff as our best legacy and a dream that came true.

What are the qualities of the kind of Provost FCET Bichi needs to make it great?

The qualities required for a Provost to make FCET Bichi great is the same as for all colleges. The appointment requirements of a provost as contained in the 2015 condition of service as provided by the National Commission for Colleges of Education emphasized excellent academic and administrative leadership. In addition to the ability to attract funds and generate internal revenue. The location of FCET Bichi makes it necessary for the provost to link up to the immediate community for support in the area of security, social services and patronage.

Some Chief Executives try to mentor competent successors that will carry on with the good jobs they have done, while some just try to annoint certain, but mostly incompetent successors, for selfish and unpatriotic reasons. Sir, how is it in your own case?

As an academic and administrator, my dealings with colleagues at all levels is mentorship. The period I served the College has given me the opportunity to share my experience with others and to acquire more. The appointment of Principal officers is the responsibility of the Governing Council of the College. The College was lucky to have competent persons as Chairmen and members of Council over the years. It has been the policy of the College’s Governing Council since my assumption of office to allow due process in the appointment of officers, especially the principal officers. During my tenure the Registrar and College’s Librarian were appointed through due process and the best candidates were selected and appointed. Currently, the two principal officers are serving their second and final terms. I am confident that my successor was appointed through due process and is adequately prepared for the job.

What can you say were the major secrets of your success in the college?

If there is any secret to my success in the College, then it must be teamwork, accessibility and transparent leadership. The College management work together to achieve stated objectives. The use of dialogue and discussion are the main strategies employed in conflict resolution and it proves effective. The tremendous support that I got from the federal ministry of education, the Tertiary Education Trust fund (TETFund), under the able leadership of it former executive secretary, Professor Suleiman Bogoro and the present executive secretary, Arc. Sunny Echono, National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), the governing council, my management, staff and students no doubt contributed in my success and peaceful running of the college.

As a one time active member of ASUU, how did you apply your knowledge and experience in ensuring industrial harmony in the College?

During my struggle as an ASUU member I learnt practical application of rule of law and strict adherence to procedures. I also, understood that Trade Unions go for the ideal situation in most cases, which is largely different from the reality. The knowledge assisted me greatly in handling industrial situations in the College. It is on record that my tenure enjoyed the most industrial harmony in the history of the Institution. This is not excluding a few instances of agitation.

Apart from the cooperation you said you enjoyed from the members of your Governing Council and Management Staff, which other constituents of the College or it’s town, can you hail for their support to you?

The support I enjoyed of the various Governing Council Chairmen and members have been tremendous. I started with Col U.F Umar rtd as Chairman of Council in 2015, then, Alh. Ibrahim Bolaji Bello between 2018 and 2021 and Prof. Rahila P. Gowon from 2021 to date. I really hailed the support of the students at the College in understanding the management’s policies, some of which may not be palatable.

During his Coronation, about two years ago, the Emir of Bichi, His Highness, Alhaji Nasir Ado Bayero promised to support the College in many ways. Was he able to live to his promise?

His Royal Highness the Emir of Bichi is our father, We owe his Highness a world of gratitude. His Royal Highness has been and still is a great support to the College, in all ramifications. I pray to Allah to grant him protection and long life to continue his service to humanity.


Bichi is blessed with prominent sons and daughters who have occupied, and are still occupying influential positions in the country, are there some of them that have contributed in the development of the College?

I really enjoyed the support and friendship of prominent sons and daughters of Bichi, too numerous to mention. However, one person whose contributions to the development of the College remains outstanding is Honourable Abubakar Kabir Abubakar, Member representing Bichi Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives. Honourable Kabir was instrumental to the studies of over 3,000 students in the College through the payment of their school fees among other assistance. The College will continue to view the action of Hon Abubakar as major sacrifice in nation building and in the growth of the country.

Despite the NNPP ‘tsunami’ that swept Kano in the recent election, Senator Jibrin Barau happened to be the only APC Senator in Kano State that flatly beat the tsunami, as his associate, what can you say gave him this victory?

This is quite a difficult question. I believe politics is complex and politicians are the ones to analyze political strategies. However, looking at the level of political awareness in the country due to the long duration of democratic rule, so far, one can safely deduce that people elect those politicians that performed creditably well. I believe that people in Kano North Senatorial District are enlightened, capable to democratically determine their leaders.


Prof, you seem to be speaking for the senator with passion, what informs this passion?

In my interaction with Distinguished Senator Barau I Jibrin from 2015 to date, I found him to care a lot about the development of humanity. He is passionate on the issues of development and emancipation of common man in his constituency and the nation in general.


Some Scholars are of the opinion that Politics is too serious a business to be left to Politicians alone, intellectuals therefore need to participate to make a difference. Do you subscribe to this?

I believe that politics is everybody’s business. Whoever feels that he has a contribution to make and bring positive change then, he should participate. Through participation the mistakes of the past can be identified and corrected for better future of the society.


If you will join Politics, as an educationist cum scholar, what will you tell your supporters that are your promptings?

As of now, I am a scholar and a civil servant. Whenever, I joined politics I will evaluate my promptings, I promise you.


A lot of people, do not still have hope in majority of Politicians, as leaders who can take Nigeria to the promised land. What is your take on this?

I bet to differ. I believe strongly in democracy as the best system of governance. Politicians are also humans bound to err in governance. We must correct our mistakes as we move forward. The country cannot stagnate in the name of either correction of mistakes or otherwise of the people.


Any special message to your colleagues in the academia about the role they need to play to make Nigeria Great, again?

It is an established fact that no nation grows beyond the level of its teachers. In order to regain our lost glory and occupy the deserved right place in the comity of nations, we must pay serious attention to education, particularly teacher education. It is necessary for us to re-evaluate our educational system with the view to making it more functional and responsive to the needs of the people. The present-day reality is that all-hands-must-be-on-deck to salvage education and to move the country forward. So, academics or not, everyone must to participate in making Nigeria great, again.


Any message to Politicians on what they need to do to ensure that Nigeria remains indivisible, great country and leader in Africa?

I am firmly rooted in the concept of national unity like many other well-meaning Nigerians. The political class must close their ranks to ensure stability of the country. It is a common sight across the globe, the devastating consequences of destabilization of peace. Nigeria is bestowed with numerous resources and potentials awaiting to be harnessed. The country’s greatness can only be achieved through commitment and resilience of our political leaders.

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