The Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria has commended MacArthur Foundation for the provision of over $15 million, to strengthen research, enhance quality teaching and learning, and foster the development of a new generation of academics over the years.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Kabiru Bala, during the ABU’s Diamond Jubilee Public Lecture on Thursday, confirmed that the Foundation has over the years, granted $15,538,896 to the institution, to address challenges related to research, teaching, learning, and academic manpower production.
“I must put on public record that, other than our proprietor, the Federal Government of Nigeria, and its agencies like the TETFund (Tertiary Education Trust Fund), no individuals or organizations have provided more financial support to ABU from 1999 to 2010 than the MacArthur Foundation,” he stated.
Prof. Bala underscored the Foundations past support, expressing gratitude for its contributions to the university’s ICT infrastructure and the establishment of essential centers such as Development Communication, Rural Finance, Veterinary and Public Health, and Reproductive Health.
Also speaking, the Africa Director of the MacArthur Foundation, Dr. Kole Shettima, said the MacArthur Foundation, founded in 1970 in Chicago, United States of America (USA), is a global institute that has awarded about $792 billion to approximately 117 countries.
Highlighting the challenges of academic and other sectors in Nigeria, particularly brain drain, Dr Shettima called on the Nigerian government and other stakeholders, to take more responsibility in funding universities, particularly in transparency and accountability, which he emphasized were essential for the future development of the universities.
The chairman of the occasion, Munir Ja’afaru, also called on government to prioritize funding for ABU, Zaria, and other institutions facing similar challenges.
“Education is the bedrock of any nation’s progress, and it is our collective responsibility to ensure that those institutions have the necessary resources to flourish.”
He further urged the alumni community and members of the university staff to safeguard the institution from collapse, ensuring that future generations have access to qualitative and quantitative education.