ABU VC laments manpower shortage

Prof. Kabir Bala, Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, urged the Federal Government on Saturday to lift the employment embargo in order to address the institution's manpower shortage.

Bala stated that a lack of manpower in academic units has a negative impact on teaching, research, and community service excellence.

This, he claimed, was due to government policies and an employment embargo.

This was stated by the Vice Chancellor at the institution's 42nd convocation on Saturday in Zaria, Kaduna State.

"Therefore, we call on the FG to lift the embargo on recruitment for universities to address the widening gaps.

"ABU is facing financial sustainability challenges as a result of the COVID-19 aftermath; serious legal battles affecting its finances and other government policies that put pressure on its financial standing," he said.

Bala also called for greater collaboration among all stakeholders to devise more innovative ways to ensure the university's smooth operation.

He stated that the university recognized the importance of implementing long-term strategies to achieve financial sustainability, which included, among other things, reviving the endowment foundation.

According to the VC, there were 35,758 candidates for the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 sessions of the Diamond Jubilee Convocation for the conferment of first degrees, postgraduate diplomas, and higher degrees.

He stated that 8,842 of the 35,758 graduates received higher degrees, including 869 Ph.Ds, 60 M.Phils, 6,179 Masters, and 1,734 Postgraduate Diplomas.

He went on to say that 26,916 people would receive Bachelor's degrees, with 273 receiving First Class, 5,647 receiving Second Class Upper Division, 17,567 receiving Second Class Lower Division, 2,899 receiving Third Class Honours, 45 receiving Pass degrees, and 485 receiving unclassified degrees.

Earlier, the Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Achebe, the Chancellor, had advised the graduates to think creatively about how they could become self-employed rather than queuing up to join the labor market for monthly salaries.

The monarch believes that the twenty-first century is the age of digital and social revolution, and that technology has become the primary means of access to all occupations, professions, and vocations.

"The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the limitless opportunities that now exist for brilliant men and women like you.

"I encourage you to seize these opportunities, conquer the world and make it a better place with innovative ideas, and always be grateful that your ABU education has provided you with a pedestal for self-fulfillment," the monarch concluded.

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