I want University of Abuja to become a research varsity – Vice Chancellor

Professor Michael U. Adikwu, FAS, is the Vice Chancellor, University of Abuja. In this interview, with STANLEY CHIBUIHEM, he bears his mind on what he wants the university to be

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Before Prof Michael Adikwu became Vice Chancellor, University of Abuja (UNIABUJA), the university had experienced vicissitudes such as lack of infrastructural facilities, poor universities’ ranking and loss of accreditation of some courses, among others. His assumption to the office of Vice Chancellor was a panacea to the university.

On how the Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences brought out the university out of the woods, he said: “The year I resumed as Vice Chancellor, the National Universities Commission (NUC) cancelled our admissions for two years. We wanted to combine the two years just to get one year admission and we could only get 3000 candidates, but now we have 28, 000 candidates applying to us.

“It has been progressive which means the environment is now stable, more students want to come in here and the initial challenges he have are no more.”

On the secret of his breakthrough, and how he became the Vice Chancellor, the 2008 Nigeria LNG Science prize winner, who was also a former STEP-B Director, Abuja, stated: “There is no secret; my only secret in life is to trust in God. All my achievements both winning the Nigerian prize for science and being Director STEP-B as you mentioned and now Vice-Chancellor is only God.

“I don’t know any other one. As a Christian all I know is

God, I trust God, and I hold unto him firmly. Many people usually put their trust in men whom they know instead of trusting in God and that are why they fail.”

Adikwu’s panacea to UNIABUJA cannot be complete without reflecting how he changed the university’s poor ranking position to one of the top 10 in Nigeria today.

On how he brought hope to a university almost formerly written ‘hopeless’ he said: “If I am given the opportunity, I want the University of Abuja to rank better. In America, there are research universities so I want the University of Abuja to be a research university where people will be doing a lot of researches and the breakthroughs obtained used to develop the nation.

“Universities are built bearing in mind that the people there, have the capacity to think. For example, there is a lot of unemployment in Nigeria, and nobody is researching into that instead they say we want to do cutting-edge industry. We need to know the cause of our problems as a nation and then tackle them one by one. For example, in China, government does not take decisions until it does some research, which gives them data and with that data, they know what to tackle and make progress.”

On the forthcoming Silver Jubilee Celebration of the University of Abuja, the erudite scholar said: “UNIABUJA was established in 1988 we are marking its 30 years next year along with our convocation.”

UNIABUJA is the first university to honour Pastor W. F. Kumuyi of Deeper Life Bible Church, Professor Adikwu explained: “We honoured him not because of his pastoral landmark he has made globally but because of his academic prowess.

“He made first class at the University of Ibadan and has contributed to educational needs of the nation by establishing his own university – Anchor University, Ayobo, Lagos.”

Previously the Medical School of UNIABUJA had issue of loss of accreditation, the Vice Chancellor, who serves as a panacea to this, stated: “At present, we have graduated two sets since then and the third set will graduate in January next year. So now we have accreditation from the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.”

On the developmental strides UNIBUJA has experienced under him, he said: “By the grace of God I have been able to develop the minds of the students, for example by recovering our unaccredited courses which are now accredited. In infrastructure, I met the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and at present they are constructing six buildings for us namely: ICT Centre, Post Graduate College block, Post Graduate Hostel, Medical Students Hostel, Faculties of Science and Engineering, all these are getting completion. We have also attracted some banks to mention but a few. However, my wish is to develop the human mind which is a bit difficult to judge.”

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