By Anthony Maliki
Ahead of the meeting of the Northern States Governor’s Forum scheduled for Kaduna, Plateau State Governor and Chairman of the Forum, Simon Bako Lalong has visited the Ahmadu Bello University and the Kaduna Polytechnic as part of assessment of some legacies of the founding fathers of the Northern Region.
Governor Lalong who started the visit at the ABU Zaria was received by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kabiru Bala and top management of the University.
Governor Lalong said the visit was a fact finding one that was at the instance of the Northern Governors Forum which is desirous of revitalizing the legacies of the founding fathers of the region and repositioning the economic fortunes of the region.
He said “The areas that can fastrack the emancipation of the North today are agri ulture, education and industrialisation. That is why we as Northern Governors Forum are meeting in Kaduna to discuss many issues concerning the region. We have to take major decisions on the future of the region as we work towards overcoming insecurity, poverty, illiteracy and unity. We have to revisit the ideas of Sir Ahmadu Bello and other founding fathers that set up major foundations for growth and development”.
He said ABU is one of the few legacies of the Northern Region still standing which must be sustained through active collaboration between the Northern States and the Federal Government. He promised to table the challenges of the Institution before his colleagues with assurance of action to be taken.
Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University Prof. Kabiru Bala said the visit of the Chairman, Northern Governor’s Forum is timely as it will assist the school address some of its challenges.
The Vice Chancellor later took the Governor on a tour of the Institute for Agricultural Research, National Agricultural Extension and Liaison Services, the Institute of Administration and the faculty of law where he obtained his first degree many years ago. The Governor recieved a rousing welcome from staff and students and reunited with some of his lecturers.
Later on, the Governor visited the Kaduna Polytechnic, another legacy institution of the Northern Region where he was recieved by the Rector, Prof. Idris Mohammed Bugaje.
He said the institution was the foremost Polytechnic in Nigeria which has churned out top technicians who contributed to building the infrastructure of the region and Nigeria as a whole.
He assured that the Northern Governors Forum will do everything possible to revive the fortunes of the school as there is a huge skill gap not only in the region but the nation as a whole.
Rector of the Polytechnic Prof. Idris Bugaje decried the lack of equipment in the school over the years which greatly limited the capacity of the school to keep pace with technological developments. He said the School lost some accreditations which are being gradually restored because of recent interventions.
He also told the Governor that the school has introduced courses in Railway Engineering, Gas technology and also trained quality assessors.
Governor Lalong later visited the Hassan Usman Katsina House and Arewa House in Kaduna.