Ahmadu Bello University
About Ahmadu Bello University
Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) is a federal government research university located in Zaria, Kaduna State. ABU was founded on October 4, 1962, as the University of Northern Nigeria.
The university operates three main campuses: Samaru and Kongo in Zaria, and the School of Basic Studies in Funtua. The Samaru campus houses the administrative offices, sciences, social sciences, arts and languages, education, environmental design, engineering, medical sciences agricultural sciences and research facilities. The Kongo campus hosts the Faculties of Law and Administration. The Faculty of Administration consists of Accounting, Business Administration, Local Government and Development Studies and Public Administration Departments. Additionally, the university is responsible for a variety of other institutions and programs at other locations.
The university is named after the Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello, the first premier of Northern Nigeria.
The university runs a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programs (and offers associate degrees and vocational and remedial programs). The university has a large medical program with its own A.B.U. Teaching Hospital, one of the largest teaching hospitals in Nigeria and Africa.
Foundation and first years
As Nigeria approached independence on October 1, 1960, it had only a single university: the University of Ibadan, established in 1948. The important Ashby Commission report (submitted a month before independence) recommended adding new universities in each of Nigeria’s then-three regions, as well as the capital, Lagos. Even before the Commission report, however, the regional governments had begun planning universities. In May 1960, the Northern Region had upgraded the School of Arabic Studies in Kano to become the Ahmadu Bello College for Arabic and Islamic Studies. (The college was named after the region’s dominant political leader, Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello.)
The Ashby Commission report recommendations gave a new impetus and direction, and it was ultimately decided to create a University of Northern Nigeria at Zaria (rather than Kano). The university would take over the facilities of the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology at Samaru just outside Zaria, and would incorporate the Ahmadu Bello College in Kano, the Agricultural Research Institute at Samaru, the Institute of Administration at Zaria, and the Veterinary Research Institute at Vom on the Jos Plateau. The law establishing the new university was passed by the Northern Region legislature in 1961. It was decided to name the university after Ahmadu Bello, and the Kano college then took the name of Abdullahi Bayero, a past Emir of Kano.
At the opening on October 4, 1962, thanks in part to absorbing existing institutions, ABU claimed four faculties comprising 15 departments. However, students in all programs numbered only 426. The challenges faced were enormous. Over 60 years of British colonial rule, education in the Northern Region had lagged far behind that of the two southern regions. Few students from the North had qualifications for university entrance, and fewer still northerners had qualifications for teaching appointments. Of the original student body, only 147 were from the North. ABU’s first vice-chancellor (principal administrator and leader) was British, as were most of the professorial appointments. Only two Nigerians — Dr Iya Abubakar (Mathematics) and Adamu Baikie (Education) — were among the earliest round of faculty appointments. Facilities on the main Samaru campus were inadequate, and the administration and integration of the physically separated pre-existing institutions were difficult.
Nevertheless, under the vice chancellorship of Dr Norman S. Alexander, academic and administrative staffing was developed, new departments and programs were created, major building plans were undertaken, and student enrollments grew rapidly. By the end of Alexander’s tenure (1965–66), almost 1,000 students were enrolled. The New Zealand-born Alexander, from 1966, became a kind of "freelance vice-chancellor", offering his expertise to help in the setting up of other Commonwealth universities in the West Indies, Fiji and Africa.
To build integrated alumni, development and communications functions to advance the University’s goals.
The Mission of the Directorate of University Advancement is to “facilitate the sustainable attainment of the primary goals of teaching, research and community service through building greater relationships with alumni and friends of Ahmadu Bello University and establishing mutually beneficial relationships with donors and partner organizations”.
OUR AIMS AND OBJECTIVES (Alumni Association)
Zaria, Kaduna, Nigeria
Ahmadu Bello University