By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria
Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) and Dan Dickou Dankoulodo University, Maradi (UDDM), Niger Republic, have expanded the Memorandum of Understanding they had earlier jointly signed in 2015 to initiate cooperation and collaboration on academic activities for the benefit of both institutions.
A statement issued by the Director Public Affairs Directorate Auwal Umar said, the renewed MoU, ABU had accepted to assist UDDM establish a full-pledged Faculty of Veterinary Medicine that would produce sufficient Veterinary Doctors for the Francophone country.
He said the University had also agreed to nurture UDDM’s Faculty of Agriculture through joint research project and joint grant utilization as well as to assist the young university establish a vibrant department of agricultural extension services.
The Vice-Chancellor of Dan Dickou Dankoulodo University, Prof. Zakari Moussa Ousmane, had in March 2020 visited ABU to discuss the renewal of the expanded MoU following the expiration of an earlier one jointly signed by the two institutions.
Consequently, ABU’s Directorate of University Advancement was mandated to work with UDDM’s Directorate of Linkages to develop the revised MoU aimed at promoting regional integration through research and cultural activities.
Last month’s return visit to Dan Dickou Dankoulodo University, Maradi, Niger Republic by a seven-member delegation from Ahmadu Bello University was primarily to ensure proper implementation of the expanded Memorandum of Understanding.
The delegation, led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Ahmed Doko Ibrahim, had a series of discussions on issues of importance about the agreement that centered, among others, on promotion of regional integration through research activities, development of joint research in areas of mutual interest and competence, organization of colloquia, conferences, symposia, seminars and other scientific activities.
According to the statement as part of the immediate implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding, it was agreed that the UDDM’s final year students of Pharmaceutical Sciences should be brought to ABU along with their lecturers for practicals at the institution’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
“The intensive practical training, which is expected to begin next month, would be for a period of three months and both academic staff and technologists from Ahmadu Bello University would be involved in the delivery of the training. ABU, in liaison with ABU Teaching Hospital, would also make its facilities available for the training and all other cost components such as registration, accommodation, assessment, library fees, internet services and other utilities would be waived for the students”.
“The limited number of academic staff at UDDM’s Faculty of Health Sciences informed the dire need for assistance in many respects, especially deployment of staff on sabbatical, visiting and secondment from ABU to help address the critical situation”.
Significantly, the UDDM’s desire is for their pharmacy students to acquire the requisite skills and competences to begin medical formulation beyond the mere sale of drugs and that the mentality of pharmacy services on the sale of drugs should be changed to drugs production.
Other areas covered in the expanded MoU included the need for ABU Department of Computer Science to assist UDDM in computation of students’ results and hands on training on ICT and other related fields as well as for ABU to introduce short term training for UDDM staff, especially technicians and technologists.
The two institutions identified sports as a strong factor that could help strengthen their relationship, and they, therefore, stressed the need for resuscitation of the Nigeria-Niger Exchange Programme to further enhance the ECOWAS regional integration.
Both universities, however, fingered language barrier as the major challenge to the collaboration but it was agreed that English/French Proficiency Programme should be introduced through e-learning programmes to address the challenge.
Dan Dickou Dankoulodo University started as Institute of Technology in 2008 and it became fully established as a University on 1st July, 2010.
The University was later named after a renowned professor of chemistry, Prof. Dan Dickou Dankoulodo, on 16th October, 2014.
The University, which started with only 31 students, has an Institute of Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and Faculty of Health Sciences.
At present, the University has over 5,000 students with more than 200 staff members comprising academics, technologists and administrative personnel.
The ABU delegation was at the conclusion of the visit taken round to inspect teaching facilities at UDDM’s Faculty of Science and Technology by the Dean of the Faculty, Prof. Karim Saley Doyen.
The seven-member delegation from ABU was led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Ahmed Doko Ibrahim. Other members of the delegation included former Dean, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Prof. Nuhu Muhammad Danjuma; Head, Department of French, Dr. Marian Birma; and Director, Public Affairs Directorate, Malam Auwalu Umar.
They also included Assistant Director, Advancement Services and Linkages, Directorate of University Advancement, Malam Ahmed Zakaria; Students Advisor, French, Yesufu Mamudu; and Travel Guide, Salissou Abdou.
The team from UDDM was led by its Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Zakari Moussa Ousmane at the discussion. Members of the team included Prof. Abdoulaye Diouf, Prof. Karim Saley Doyen, Prof. Ali Moumino, Prof. Ibrahim Wagani, Prof. Boukany Bawa and Dr. Souley Djibo. Others were Dr. Ali Albani, Dr. Adakal Ousseni, Dr. Kassoum Djataou Bahari, Dr. Ousmane Abdoulaye, Dr. Mamman Bachir, Dr. Harouna Laouali and Dr. Oumar Abdoulaye.