How ATBU is helping to solve farmers, herders clashes – Vice-Chancellor

The Vice-Chancellor, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Prof. Hamisu Muhammad, has said that the institution is working on helping to address the security challenges facing the country, especially with the farmer, herders clashes.

The professor made this statement during a five-day Grant Winning Workshop for Tertiary Institutions in the North-East, organized by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund in Bauchi on Wednesday.

According to him, a Diary Center set up by the university will help train herders on the best way to keep their cattle and raise them without them moving from one point to the other, thereby, solving the crises that always come up between herders and the farmers.

The professor said, “Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi is trying to solve the issue of insecurity in this country. People don’t even look at it but as universities, we are supposed to find solutions to this issue.

“One of the things that we are doing is that we have got a Center of Excellence on Diary at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University and our target is to show herders that the best way to keep your cattle is just to keep it around your house, feed it well and you’ll find out that you don’t have to move around. This is the little science to it, the more the cows move, the more they lose energy but the more they stay in one place the more they grow fatter.

“And we want our cows to grow fatter and give higher production and more milk. These are issues we have to leverage on and work on. We are working on educating the herders on this. The university is in the forefront of what we call Nigerian Diary.”

The Vice-Chancellor said that another problem the university is working towards addressing is social standards noting that a Center of Excellence had been established in the institution to achieve that.

“Secondly, the university through Research and Development is trying to develop what we call Science Park. As we look at our society, there are a lot of problems, so we wrote a proposal and we got a Center of Excellence in addressing social standards and procurement in this country. These are issues that are fundamental in the survival of this country and when we have social standards and procurement issues solved, I think we will go a long way,” he said.

He said that research and development cannot be overemphasized given its importance.

“Research and Development will bring a lot of development to the university, it brings stability to the university as well as a sense of belonging to academics and these are issues we must address.

“Teaching to produce first-class students is over. What we are trying to do is to improve our living conditions and what can we do to give back to the society. These are issues that we feel that the best thing to do is to look back.

“The big equations, the big theories don’t apply to us here, but what is important to us in this part of the country is we’ll look at our dynamics and see what we need.

“We need to look at agriculture which we call agribusiness not only the culture, we’ll look at communications that is ICT. These are two virgin fields that are untapped that we can explore and move forward,” he said.

The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, expressed concern on the level of performance of the North-East in research, grant writing application and accessing grants adding that it has been discouraging.

He said that the workshop was aimed at exposing the North-East on how best to write and win the grants from TETFund and other agencies.

Bogoro said, “For too long, we academics have been operating in our silos, clapping with one hand. That is unacceptable. No wonder we are not getting the outcome of research that solves the problems of the society.

“Precisely why our universities have failed to rise to the level of respectability that has been associated with the most competitive economics and the greatest of civilizations. This has to change. I’m not happy about the performance of the North-East in respect of research, grant writing application and success.”