Federal University, Dutsin-Ma – From Secondary School to a ‘Federal University’

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Katsina — It was formerly Government Day Secondary School Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State before it was handed over to the management of the Federal University, Dutsin-Ma (FUDMA) by the state government as temporary site of the institution, after Katsina State was listed among the beneficiaries of the new federal universities.

FUDMA was among the nine universities established by the government in the third quarter of 2010. Others are located in Jigawa, Kwara, Gombe, Kogi, Taraba, Ekiti, Ebonyi and Bayelsa States while that of Kebbi is probably no more.

The university was located in Dutsin-Ma local government area of Katsina State, about 65km south of Katsina town and it lies on latitude 12o15’N, 7o30’E. The temporary site covered about 18 hectares, while its permanent site has an area of about 1,200 hectares.

FUDMA was the first commissioned university of the nine approved, sometimes in 2010, and this might not be unconnected with the commitment and determination of Governor Ibrahim Shema ensuring a smooth take-off of the institution. Katsina State government has spent over N700 million so far on the institution, according to the commissioner of education, Professor Aminu Abdulkadir Kurfi.

Sunday Trust also gathered that Katsina state government has donated some schools to the management of the university which were converted to various facilities for FUDMA. While Government Day Secondary School Dutsin-Ma is in fact the temporary site of the university, Na-Alhaji Primary School, Dutsin-Ma was turned into male hostel.

Katsina State government has also constructed the official residences of the Vice Chancellor and Registrar of the university, laboratories, roads, drainages and culverts as well rehabilitated some houses converted into university’s staff quarters.

Other supports offered to FUDMA by Katsina State government include supply of furniture for offices, lecture rooms, of male and female hostels, fencing of the university and supply of official vehicles for the VC, Registrar and other principal officers of the university.

The vision of the university, Sunday Trust gathered, is “to be a top ranking, world-class university, committed to excellence in research and future leaders with passion for service” while its mission is “to create knowledge, to transform human beings, grow the economy and solve local and global challenges, in partnership and with integrity.”

Although the university took off on July 14, 2012, its maiden matriculation of the 217 first batch students was held on Monday July 30, 2012. The first and colourful matriculation was attended by the Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, Katsina State Governor, Barrister Ibrahim Shehu Shema, his Deputy, Barrister Abdullahi Garba Faskari and Vice Chancellor, Umaru Musa Yar’adua University, Katsina, Professor Mu’uta Ibrahim among other dignitaries.

FUDMA took off with 17 academic programmes, with 17 academic departments and three faculties of Arts, Management and Social Sciences, Science and Education, Agriculture and Technology.

The three faculties are structured to serve as the foundation from which other faculties will emerge in the subsequent years and phases of the university’s development, according to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor James O. I. Ayatse.

Professor Ayatse, in his welcome address during the maiden matriculation, said the institution had planned to establish the School of General and Preliminary Studies in order to prepare secondary school students leavers to meet all minimum requirements for admission into FUDMA.

“It is envisages that the university would move to its permanent site in its third year of operation, and commence second phase of development that would generate eight more faculties of Arts, Social Science, Management Science, Science, Education, Agriculture, Engineering and Technology, Law and a Post Graduate School,” annouced Professor Ayatse.

The Professor was also optimistic that in the third phase, the university will reach its full development between its 10th and 15th year of establishment, with additional faculties of Human Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Science.

The Vice-Chancellor pointed out that plans were underway to join hands with the state government to promote and add value to agriculture and improve on the quality of life of farmers in Katsina State. He added that, “Luckily, the university is strategically located near the Zobe Dam. We shall begin by taking the advantage of the dam to promote fish farming and fisheries research in the state.”

“Already, the Dutsin-Ma Local Government Fisheries School has been handed over to the university by Katsina state government. We have already designed training programmes and structures to facilitate developing the skills of local farmers to use local technologies for more fruitful fish farming. It is our dream to turn Zobe Dam into an International Fisheries Research and Integrated Fish Farming Centre,” he added.

In his remarks, Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema, said Katsina state has between March, 2009 and July, 2012 commissioned two universities; the state owned and the one owned by federal government. Shema stressed that, “Katsina State has been one of the centres of learning in northern Nigeria and with increasing number of universities in the state, education will continue to thrive in the state.”

Governor Shema said Katsina State government will continue assisting the institution to enable it impart knowledge to Nigerians, adding that government will continue aiding FUDMA in order to make it one of the best institutions not only in the nation but the world over.

The governor them, pledged to construct examination hall for the university, saying, “I want this university to be the best among all the nine institutions established by the federal government in 2010.”

Shema commended FG for establishing the nine universities across the nation, adding that “President Goodluck Jonathan will make a lot of impact on Nigerians. Our educational sector will receive tremendous boost through the academic activities of the nine universities.”

On her part, Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i said the establishment of the nine institutions was part of President Jonathan’s transformation agenda of education.

Professor Rufa’i assured that, “Dutsin-Ma University will give emphasis to agriculture in order to meet the immediate needs of the host community. She commended Katsina State government for donating N1 billion to the institution.

“People of Katsina state are predominantly farmers and therefore emphasis would be given to agriculture by FUDMA. FG on its part will continue to assist the university to serve as catalyst to educating Nigerians. I hope Katsina State government will continue supporting the FG in that respect,” she said.

 

In : Education