PROF BALA ASSUMES OFFICE AS AWAU CHAIRMAN • Vows To Bring More Universities On Board

The Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof. Abdullahi Bala, fsssn, has assumed office as the third substantive Chairman of the Association of West Africa Universities (AWAU).

The handing over ceremony took place yesterday at the AWAU headquarters, Abuja with new and old executive members in attendance to witness the epochal event.

Speaking after being sworn-in as the Chairman of AWAU, Prof. Bala expressed gratitude to the out-gone Chairman of the Association for steering the affairs of the Association to enviable heights during his eventful tenure, adding that he would do everything possible within the purview of his new office to further advance the fortunes of the Association.

He noted that the task ahead for the new executive members is onerous and prayed that God will give them the grace to carry out their new assigned responsibilities.

The Chairman said he has concluded arrangements to reach out to some critical stakeholders that will give support to the Association such as the Committee of Vice-Chancellors (CVC), the National Universities Commission (NUC) and Federal Ministry of Education. Others are the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

On the issue of funds, the Chairman said he would approach the ECOWAS Education Attaché to see how AWAU can get additional source of income from the regional body to enable the Association to carry out some critical functions, saying that AWAU under his stewardship will address some of the problems identified by the former executives.

Prof. Bala frowned at the fact that universities from Sierra Leone and Liberia have not been able to attend the last two conferences of the Association, adding that he would put mechanism in place to reach out to them and others in order to increase AWAU membership.

The Vice-Chancellor promised to promote the internationalization of West African universities through students and staff exchange as well as forge cross border research and collaboration for further integration in the region.
Earlier in his speech before handing over, the former Chairman of AWAU, Prof. Abdulganiyu Ambali commended members of the Association for all the support given to him to succeed, adding that during his tenure, he was able to bring universities within the region together through research collaborations.

Prof. Ambali congratulated the new executive members and assured them of his support and cooperation.

The Director of Administration of the Secretariat later took the new Chairman and other executive members round the headquarters on facilities tour.

It will be recalled that the University Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Bala was unanimously elected by all member universities during its last extra-ordinary conference and Annual General Meeting held at the University D’ Abomey, Calavi, Benin Republic in October, 2019

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