Today marks a watershed in the annals of history of my life as we are gathered here to commission a newly constructed twin 500-Seater Lecture Hall christened Umaru Tanko Al-makura Lecture Hall. Indeed, this is a historic occasion that will remain indelible in my life; to wake up with the realization that this state-of-the-art edifice was named after my humble self.
2. Let me express my gratitude to the authorities of the Federal University, Lafia for deeming it appropriate to name this all important edifice after my humble self. There is no doubt that this historic gesture will remain indelible not only in my life but also in the annals of the history of our dear State. I consider this honour done to me as a challenge to continue to rededicate my efforts towards the development of education in the State.
3. I am humbled to state that this recognition accorded me by this citadel of learning is, perhaps, done in recognition of our modest effort towards resuscitating the education sector in the State in particular and our token contribution to the overall development of this institution to achieve optimum academic excellence in general.
4. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, realizing the
enormous value this Ivory Tower could add to the educational growth of
Nasarawa State, our Administration was frontal in ensuring that the
University started on a good footing and, indeed, leap-frogs to become one
best University in Nigeria that will compete favourably with the best universities across the world.
5. It is in this connection that, since the take-off of
the institution, we have continued to provide both moral and infrastructural
support to the University. Accordingly, we donated this old State Government
Secretariat to serve as the take-off site for the University in addition to
residential accommodation provided for the Vice Chancellor and the
Registrar, including a guest house for the University. Not only have we
secured a permanent site for the
University, we are also constructing a block of female hostel at the University to relieve the students of unnecessary stress and pressure of accommodation. I am happy to note that the building has reached 60% completion. It is pertinent to further state that in our strategic
resolve to facilitate the establishment of a Medical College, this Administration donated a newly constructed Comprehensive General Hospital to serve as the Teaching Hospital for the institution. It is our expectation that the University is doing the needful to ensure the commencement of programmes in the College.
6. Let me point out that I am impressed by the progressive growth of the University both in academics and infrastructural development. I believe that the doggedness of the Governing Council, the Vice Chancellor and, indeed, the entire Management of the University to ensure professionalism in the affairs of this institution earned you accreditation of courses, as well as the take-off of post-graduate programmes in the University. No doubt, this determination vis-ŗ-vis your avowal to entrench the culture of hard work, discipline, integrity and academic excellence has already given you an edge over your peers. This is how it should be.
7. Distinguished members of this citadel of learning, it is gratifying to note that your commitment in this direction is concomitant with this Administrationís determination to revolutionize education in Nasarawa State. It would be recalled that, when we first assumed office in May, 2011, I made a solemn declaration that education is one of the key sectors we will accord topmost priority. It is in this connection that we embarked on rapid construction, rehabilitation and provision of infrastructural facilities in our primary, secondary and tertiary institutions across the State.
8. Our effort in the tertiary level of education has been robust and un-daunting. It is for this reason that Government recently constituted committees to look into the activities of our three State-owned tertiary institutions in our determination to rekindle them towards the realization of their lofty goals for the benefit of all.
9. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the commissioning
of this Lecture Hall we are witnessing today will, no doubt, add impetus to
our resolve to bequeath an educational system that will provide a twin goal
of quality education that will mould the character of our
children on the one hand, and produce economically viable citizens of Nigeria. This is because a well-educated citizenry is more economically productive. In this regard, I make covenant with you that development of education will be a legacy that Umaru Tanko Al-makura would be remembered for.
10. At this juncture, let me once again express my profound appreciation to the Governing Council, the Management, the Senate and, indeed, the entire University community for recognizing the modest effort we are making towards educational advancement of the society. I remain honoured for finding me worthy of this recognition. It is my hope that this edifice will serve the purpose for which it is meant.
11. Thank you and God bless.