By Philip Yatai
The Kaduna State University (KASU) on Friday inaugurated the development of its permanent site, located at Rigachikun in Igabi Local Government Area of the state.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Muhammad Tanko, in his opening remarks in Kaduna, described the development as a “great achievement” after more than 15 years of the existence of the university.
“This is a great relief considering that the main campus along Tafawa Balewa Way, Kaduna, does not have enough space for expansion and limit opportunities for a number of students’ activities.
“This vast land will house all the programmes of the university with more than enough space for expansion to meet future needs,” Tanko said.
He disclosed that three faculties were currently being built in the permanent site namely: Faculty of Education, Faculty of Engineering, and Faculty of Law.
He thanked the state government for the significant improvement so far recorded in the university, both in terms of manpower and infrastructure.
He also thanked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the ongoing extension of the Faculty of Engineering to house some of the faculty’s departments.
The VC equally commended the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund) for constructing the university’s Senate Building, the College of Governance and the extension of the Faculty of Law.
He said that some of the buildings would soon be handed over to the university and urged the state government to fast tract the construction of the perimetre fence to secure the site.
“I also appeal to the state government to allocate land to our staff to enable us to build our houses close to the university. This will ease our movement and increase productivity,” the VC said.
Gov. Nasir El-Rufai said that since 2015, the focus of the state on human capital development had been recognised as the pillar of the government’s “putting people first agenda”.
El-Rufai, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarebe, added that central to putting people first was the relentless drive to expand access to education and health.
“This is evident as the two sectors have consistently accounted for the biggest chunk of our annual budget.
“Tertiary education will continue to play an important role in the production of skilled human resources.
“Today we signal our commitment to enable KASU to occupy the front seat in the revolution in higher education in Nigeria.
“As part of our own stewardship to KASU, we have decided to move its main campus to this vast land in Rigachikun as a step forward from the limited space its Kaduna Campus began,” he said.
He noted that the step would require huge investment in facilities, emerging curriculum and more resources for research.
He assured of government’s efforts to mobilise the needed resources to make relocation of the university to the permanent site possible.
“I, therefore, appeal to development partners and our friends in the corporate world to support our drive to build a world class university,” El-Rufai said.
The Commissioner for Education, Dr Shehu Makarfi, thanked the state government for the commitment to increase access to quality education in the state.
Makarfi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Phoebe Yayi expressed confidence that the university’s permanent site would soon be ready. (NAN)