By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) has acquired the digital capacity to enable its students to interact and take lessons from any part of the world.
Osinbajo said this on Thursday at the formal handover of the Muhammadu Indimi International Learning Centre and International Conference Centre to the management of UNIMAID in Maiduguri.
The facilities which were built and donated to the university by businessman and philanthropist, Muhammadu Indimi, were inaugurated by President Muhammdu Buhari in Dec. 2021.
The vice president commended Indimi for the gesture, adding that the institution had, over the years, made strides in human capacity development in the country.
“UNIMAID has trained many great Nigerians including the current Senate President, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Ltd. and our very own, Prof. Babagana Zulum, Borno Governor.
“ For UNIMAID to keep up with the fast pace of development in the world it needs enhanced investment; that investment cannot only come from the government.
“The forward thinking and innovation to imagine; conceive and build a centre that allows for students in Maiduguri to interact and take lessons from Shanghai, Houston or Paris is exactly what is needed for this institution to keep pace and in certain respects lead the continued educational innovation we are experiencing.
“This centre will also allow for students to be enrolled in UNIMAID from Abuja, Lagos or even Johannesburg, expanding the enrollment base of the University and provide increased options for students to learn and interact.’’
Osinbajo said that the Federal Government would also continue to invest in universities.
According to him, UNIMAID is in phase 2 of the Energising Education Programme funded through the Rural Electrification Agency.
“The Federal Government through REA, in partnership with the World Bank, is in advanced stages of establishing a 12MW Solar Hybrid Power Plant to power UNIMAID and its Teaching Hospital.
“The project will also include a training center and is modeled around similar projects that have already been completed in Bayero University Kano (BUK), the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi (FUAM), Usman Danfodio University Sokoto (UDUS) and the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike (FUNAI).
“Additionally, I am pleased to announce that through the Economic Sustainability Plan approved by the president, NNPC, REA and Yola DISCO are partnering with my office and the Office of the Governor of Borno to deploy 30MW of Solar Power to critical areas of Maiduguri.
“This will be six solar plants of 5MW each to augment grid supply and protect against energy sabotage.
“ Let me also say that the efforts of the Federal Government and private persons can only be truly useful where the state government is serious about the development.’’
He said that Zulum, by his feats, had shown the benefits inherent in government’s partnership with the private sector,
Osinbajo said the governor had built several mega schools, massive commercial centres, over 8000 housing units and the first flyover in Borno.
The vice president said it was heartwarming and commendable that all of Zulum’s achievements were at very low cost.
According to the vice president, education is the spark behind every girl and boy child to maximise their individual potentials.
He said that Indimi’s work through his foundation had continued to focus on education as a core area.
“Let me again commended and congratulate Indimi on the completion of this landmark project and the successful handing over of the International Learning Centre,’’ he said.
In his address, Zulum said he was particularly pleased with the presence of the vice president as the projects were another milestone in the state.
The governor said that Indimi’s humanitarian and philanthropic efforts had impacted hugely on the lives of the people of the state.
In his remarks, Indimi thanked the vice president for gracing the occasion.
He said that his gesture was borne out of his passion for education and empowerment.
Earlier in his address, UNIMAID Vice Chancellor, Prof. Aliyu Shugaba, expressed the profound appreciation of the people and government of Borno to Indimi.
He said Indimi’s gesture was the first of its kind by any individual in Nigeria.
The event attracted members of the National Assembly, members of the Federal Executive Council, state functionaries, traditional rulers among others. (NAN)