Nigeria: Melting Point – Focus On Senator Baba Datti – Ahmed’s Baze University in Abuja

The goal or objective of education is to open the mind and make it receptive to good knowledge and sound ideas that can bring about good and progressive changes for society. It is the process of receiving or giving systematic instructions especially at a school or university, a purposeful activity directed at achieving certain aims such as transmitting knowledge or fostering skills and character traits. This can not be obtained just anywhere, but under an environment that motivates and inspires. Education is not something bought on the shelves, but a product of sound preparations born out of deep passion for the liberation of the mind and society. The nobility of the BAZE University, Abuja captured the inquisitive attention of MELTING POINT this week. A visit to this premier educational facility, rare of its kind in Nigeria, located on a well calculated and conducive environment is a site to behold.

Over the years the need for quality education in Nigeria has continued to dominate public discussions. This is because the absence of education or the low level of it has contributed to the dwindling fortunes of most sectors of our human endeavours. Arguments and counter arguments have continued on whether the country needs more institutions of learning to cater for our rising population . With a total population of about 200million people, the country is said to have about 197 Universities, both public and private. Curiously, most countries with less populations have more number of such institutions thereby ranking their human development indices higher. For instance ,Brazil with a population of about 209 million people has over 440 Universities, while Mexico has 375 universities to cater for about 126 million of its people. Russia is said to have 741 universities with a population of 146 million people. Many smaller nations have more number of universities than us, hence their higher levels of development.

Because of this, the increasing demand for University education in Nigeria today cannot be overemphasised. This is because of the rising population of school leavers seeking admission across the nation. Before 2010, most of the nation’s universities are government owned and were few in number that they cannot accommodate the rising admission aspirations of our school leavers. Facts from the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, revealed that only about 30 % of JAMB candidates, inclusive of those who sat for the exams outside the school system usually get admission into our universities while the remaining 70 % of them keep trying their luck each year. It is not that they lack the entry qualifications, but were always stranded because of limited entry benchmarks and quotas of the respective institutions. Even the creation of additional Federal universities by the Goodluck Jonathan administration did not address the situation. But the granting of licenses by the National Universities Commission ,NUC by the Federal government for the establishment of private universities has expanded the space for tertiary education. We now have additional private universities in the country which has given good relief to parents and students. It’s a timely intervention which has drastically reduced the frustration and closed the gap of university admission scarcity. The situation is increasingly improving, especially with the coming on board of institutions like the Baze university.

Yours sincerely’s focus on the BAZE University this week, is to bring to fore the laudable contributions of one of the newly established private institutions to learning and teaching in the country. Sound national education entails such commitment and patriotism , which the nation requires to develop its substructures for the comfort and convenience of the growth and development of the people. A tour around the Baze University, located along the airport road, 6 kilometres away from the Federal City Centre ,FCC of the capital city, directly behind the National Judicial Institute, NJI, reveals a lot. A quite and scenic environment that motivates and energize the inquisitive mind, boasts of state of the art infrastructures, well arranged with requisite learning and security structures for comfort.

It is quite interesting to discover that the University was founded by Senator Datti Baba-Ahmed, a distinguished sound lawmaker, lover of education, diligent human administrator and presently, the Vice Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party. Datti Baba alias Yusful, is also the Pro-Chancellor. The university parades eminent Nigerians on its board such as the former Vice President of the country, Arc Namadi Sambo, GCON, who is the Chancellor and Chairman of the board of Trustees,Chairman and Publisher of this newspaper, my leader and mentor, the great late Sam Nda Isaiah (of blessed memory), former Minister of defence and former SGF Alhaji Mahmud Yayale, Prof Joy Uche Angela, the only lady and Dr Charles Aderemi . Prof Tahir Mamman is the indefatigable Vice Chancellor. An array of politicians you will say, but exceptionally committed to educational pursuit and development of the people and the nation. A combination of these credible figures providing oversight on this university is enough a sign of capacity and capability.The Baze University, founded on April 2011,is an institution built to provide education of British standards in Nigeria. It is obvious that the founder himself is a product of such a high educational taste to have given birth to this laudable dream. This is because no one can give what he or she does not have. You can only give what is available with you. And this great dream is what has been the desire of this great and lovely, courageous and patriotic Nigerian leader, Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed to add value to the educational content of the nation. It is also interesting to note that studying at the Baze University is half the cost of foreign scholarship. The institution has graduated quite a number of competent professionals and administrators in many fields of human endeavour.An interview with many of its alumni who spoke with me confirmed the distinctive quality base of the university making a difference in the nation’s capital city. It has experienced and highly motivated Professors, lecturers and other non academic staff who are exceptionally committed to teaching and academic administration, thereby promoting and sustaining the quality it sets out to achieve. Will keep watching new developments at the university for the good of our people and nation.

It is quite sad to hear that currently, no Nigerian university is rated in the top 5,000 in the world. Many Nigerians thus feel compelled to send their sons and daughters to be educated abroad, at substantial cost (at least $28,000 per year for tuition, travel and living expenses). Baze offers the same quality of education and living at about $14,000 (N2.2 m) – and, at a critical stage of their lives, students will be closer to their families.

The University is poised to ensure that young Nigerians see their local university (Baze University) as their higher education destination of choice and provide a safe, vibrant, sustainable and accessible place for students and staff to live, work and study.

Available facts confirmed that the main campus of the university is located along the airport road,six kilometres from the Abuja Federal City Centre.. The campus has a collection of state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities that help provide an adequate and conducive environment for learning. With a multitude of school blocks and comfortable classes, studios, and laboratories designed to improve interactivity and foster all forms of cognitive learning. Beyond academia, the school has facilities such as the mall, clinic area, and cafeteria to ensure students receive adequate care and provisions without leaving the campus grounds. Baze has another site at Bwari for further development. Abuja is in the centre of Nigeria, and has excellent air and road links.

The University’s main facilities and infrastructure are designed and constructed to ensure that students acquire quality education in an environment that is conducive and comfortable for their advancement in knowledge and thought. This also includes adequate provision for the disable within the environment. With facilities ranging from sports and recreations, malls to religious centres, the students have all of their needs met without stepping outside the campus grounds.

In addition to the sound and first-rate buildings, the institution is said to have employed and acquired highly experienced individuals that ensures that these facilities are put to the best and most productive use. These individuals – ranging from the academic staff (who are visionaries of the education system) to the security guards and cleaning services – are dedicated to the provision of the best services available to guarantee that standards set forth by the University’s board are exceedingly met.

One other attractive feature of the institution is that the University’s information systems are easily accessed from anywhere 24/7. Prompt and responsive service to Staff and Students, as well as advice and guidance on technology requirements and projects are in place. The university embraces innovation, and promote the ethical and secure use of communications technologies and the development of IT strategies through a collaborative process with various group of campus stakeholders. I was excited to know that Baze University is one of the first Universities in Nigeria to adopt Google applications as primary tool for collaboration between staff and students.

Every entity aspires to grow and develop, starting from an individual to the entire society. What comes very crucial to that is acquiring knowledge and skills to support development. Thus, education is a significant factor that complements and drives development at every level. I am not saying that uneducated people have no chance of being successful but an educated man will surely do well in life, although, exceptions are always there.

However most of us will agree that an educated person gets better opportunities in life and it is easier for him to become successful and realize his dreams compared to someone who is uneducated. Education helps people work better and can create opportunities for sustainable and viable economic growth for the future. Education has also been seen to give people critical skills and tools to help them provide for themselves and their children.

Education encourages good governance stability and helps fight against corruption.

If you want to lead a happy life and enjoy the good things the world has to offer, you certainly need to get educated. A great job, a good social reputation are few of the many benefit of being an educated person.

An educated person has more chances of getting a good highing paying job. Everybody wants a good life and most people will agree that money is important for survival in today’s world. The more educated you are, the better career option you have!

If you want to see the world as a just and fair place where everyone is given equal opportunities, education is what we require. Education is a must if we want to do away with, the existing differences between different social classes and genders. It opens a whole world of opportunities for the poor so that they may have an equal shot at well paying jobs.

Education is very important if you want to be self dependent person because it helps you become financially independent, but that is not all, it also makes you wiser so that you can make your own decision and also for your family.

We live in an ever changing world where new technologies keep coming up and if you don’t want to be left behind, you must keep up with the world which is moving really fast. Without education it will be really difficult for you to adapt to all these changes. An educated person is much more aware of the latest technologies and all the changes that are taking place.

For example, an uneducated person may not know about the benefits of the internet whereas an educated person uses the gift of technology regularly for work as well as for entertainment.

Education majorly affects our understanding of the difference between right and wrong. An educated person is well aware of the consequences of wrong/illegal actions and he is less likely to get influenced and do something which is not legally/morally right.

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