Centre for Development Office: MISSION STATEMENT
The University of Abuja is well over 26 years old, with empirical evidence of challenges of infrastructural development. Government intervention in the development process in the recent time is grossly inadequate due partly, to other equally competing demands. The University therefore cannot afford to stand helplessly watching the mass decay in the existing facilities and/or operate without the basic facilities.
It is in this light, that Development Office was established with the mandate to not only improve on the dwindling revenue base of the University but to also fast track and sustain development in the University through collaboration in the areas of joint research, staff/student exchange; as well as embark on shuttle diplomacy to attract grant and liaise with the University Alumni Association to support the development drive.
Although the Office has its specific challenges, there is high optimism that these challenges would be surmounted, and the office would be able to deliver on its mandate.
It is on this note that I would like to recommend this modest Mission Statement of Development Office to the avid readership of the University community and the general public.
Professor AbdulRasheed Na’Allah
Development Office was originally conceived as Centre for Development Studies (CDS). Preliminary steps for the take-off were marked by the establishment of two committees in November 29, 2005 and February 15, 2007.
The 2005 committee was mandated to examine the feasibility of setting up the CDS, specify the research focus of the Centre and how it could be used to promote learning; research and documentation in Development studies; and establish how the Centre would assist in revenue generation for the University among others.
The Committee submitted its report to the then Vice Chancellor, Prof. Nuhu O Yaqub on February 8, 2006.
The second Committee was on the implementation of the report of the first Committee which recommended the establishment of a Development Office in the Office of the Vice Chancellor instead of the earlier proposed CDS. The second Committee had as its terms of reference, to ensure the take-off of the CDS, now Development Office using the report submitted earlier by the first committee as a working document.
The Implementation Committee submitted its report as well, to the then Vice Chancellor, Professor Nuhu O. Yaqub in March, 2007. In the report, the Committee specified the short term needs of the proposed Development Office to include office space; office furniture, staffing and funding while the long-term needs included identifying the location of the said Development Office in the permanent site as well as gaining internet access for it. It was based on these two reports and recommendations that Development office was established in 2007.
The vision of the Office is to ensure sustainable growth and development of the University as well as internationalize the University through genuine collaboration with foreign universities and research institutes in the areas of staff/students exchange, joint research and sabbatical.
The mission of Development Office is to fast tract development through joint research and collaboration with the contiguous agencies, communities and research institutes; and to attract development grants and endowment to the University from donor agencies, organizations, trans-nationals and public and private individuals. Development Office serves as a Liaison Office of the University, a link between the University community and other agencies of government as well as private organizations and individuals.
The subject of development is multidimensional and multidisciplinary in nature. It is in view of this that the Management of the University of Abuja mandated Development Office to perform the following functions:
⦁ Enhance the image of the University, its funding and revenue profile;
⦁ Attract development to the University;
⦁ Fast track development through collaboration and partnership with contiguous communities, universities, research institutes, national and international development partners and agencies;
⦁ Establish new relationships and solicit new sources of support for the improvement of high priority programs while consolidating the old ones;
⦁ Encourage and facilitate joint research with research institutes, agencies as well as encourage interdisciplinary and interdepartmental research; and
⦁ Boost revenue base of the University by way of Constituting syndicate groups on tourism, alcohol, drug import/export etc.
Grant is one big area of challenge to the University which depends largely on government for grant and other patronage. It is noteworthy that grant is not restricted to research alone; it covers material support in terms of equipment, ICT, building, generous donations in cash and kind and utility vehicles among others. It is therefore in the mandate of Development Office to partner with international development and donor agencies for such grants in order to promote rapid and sustainable development as well as organize workshops with the aim of raising funds for the University.
The University as an Institution of learning cannot function effectively without adequately developing its staff in relevant fields of endeavor. Development Office is therefore saddled with the responsibility of approaching relevant agencies to offer professional training to staff in such areas that are beneficial to the University as well as making sure that staff attend periodic seminars/workshops to boost their performance in office; encourage research activities/grants and promote entrepreneurship training and skill acquisition among others.
Apart from linking the University to the outside world, it is also the duty of Development Office to drag high profile government officials such as State Governors, Ministers, and Directors-General of parastatals/MDAS to make the presence of their various states, ministries and parastatals felt in the University by way of embarking on one project or another on behalf of their agencies within the University environment as well as addressing the staff and students of the University (when the need arises) on topical issues of national interest. The aim is however, not to remunerate these top government officials but to take advantage of their positions/offices to attract development to the University.
University Alumni ASSOCIATION
The Alumni Association of the University forms an important part of the Development Office. The Office is therefore to liaise with/coordinate the activities of the Association to enhance development. A strong Alumni Association of every university is a tool that cannot be ignored. A strong University-Alumni relation avails the University good chances of significant development. Development Office is at all times to make sure that the Association is not only strong but always united and in good terms with the Management of the University hence the call for the Alumni office to be domiciled under Development Office for proper and harmonious working relationship.
The Alumni Association is expected through its office to engage a diverse group of University of Abuja graduates scattered all over the world through programmes and services that would address the needs of its members. The Association is also to support the mission, core values, and ethics of the university and promote the role of academics in strengthening and sustaining democracy in the country.
Development Office occupies a central place in the academic, economic and social hierarchy of the University. With support from the University Management, Development Office can mobilize all manner of internal and external support to achieve the development drive of the university leadership, revolutionize the fortunes of the University and strengthen its revenue base.
Development Office is being administered by the following officers:
⦁ Director, who serves as the head of Administration
⦁ Confidential Secretary, who takes and keeps a record of activities of the office
⦁ Admin Officer/Executive Officer who assists in the day-to-day administration of the office
⦁ Office Assistance/Cleaner who keeps the office clean
Based on the chatter that established the office, the Development Office has the following sub-units:
⦁ Grants Unit
⦁ Collaboration/Linkages Unit
⦁ Alumni Association Office
All these units are to be headed by a Senior Admin Officer and coordinated by the Director of the Office.
Professor Bassey Ubom