Tuesday, December 9, 2014 7:41 am
Gov. Babangida Aliyu of Niger state has allocated 100 hectares, at no cost to the Anglican Church, for the proposed Walter Miller University (WMU), Diko, Niger state.
Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, WMU, disclosed this at the Sod Turning Ceremony of the institution on Monday in Diko.
Danjuma said the essence of the event was to seek God’s blessings and protection on the land upon which the university would be built.
He said that the school was in honour of Dr Miller, the pioneer Missionary who contributed a lot in establishing schools, a church and dispensary in Northern Nigeria from 1902 to 1929.
“It is a memorable day because we are about to bless the land on which an Anglican University is to be built in the North,” he said.
“We also wish to acknowledge, with immense gratitude, the offer of this 100 hectares of land to us at no cost by the Governor of Niger State, Dr Babangida Aliyu.
“The gesture is one of its kind in this country.
“This ceremony is simple but very significant to us because we are starting this venture by seeking the blessings, guidance and protection of God for the land,’’ he said.
He recalled that Dr Miller, under the leadership of Bishop Tugwell, set foot in Northern Nigeria as a Missionary doctor and educator over a century ago.
Danjuma said that the concept of the university was borne out of a desire to provide facilities that would be used in educating and training children with a difference.
According to him, WMU seeks to provide self-sustaining disciplines as well as character training that will make a difference in the lives of its products.
“Our admission policy will be free and fair and non-discriminatory.
“We shall encourage the study of comparative religion, targeting ourselves at breaking down barriers to religious harmony, better ethnic understanding and espousing the primacy of Nigeria as a nation.’’
Danjuma, a onetime Minister of Defence, appealed to the Federal Government to provide some grants to private institutions because of their contributions to the manpower development of the nation.
In his speech, Prof. Adamu Baikie, the Chairman of the Planning Committee of the proposed university, said that the institution would take-off before the end of 2015.
He said that arrangements were on top gear to get necessary approval from the National Universities Commission (NUC) adding that the project would cost about N2.5 billion.
“We are hoping that all being well, it will take off by Sept. 2015; we are doing a lot of work; about N2.5 billion will be committed to the project.
“NUC approval is coming; we have gone half way and we expect that probably after the Christmas break, it will be ready, then we go to JAMB for the inclusion of the school’s name in its brochure.
“We are taking off with three faculties: Science, Teacher training, and Arts and Special Sciences; we will take into account children from not well-to-do parents and make the school fees affordable,’’ he said.
Baikie said that the committee was looking forward to people of goodwill, not only in cash but also in sponsoring buildings to reduce the volume of capital expenditure.
Gov. Aliyu, who was represented by Dr Jacob Kolo, said that the massive land donated for the project was a demonstration of his administration’s commitment at promoting education in the state.