By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
The governing council of the Federal University of Technology, (FUT), Minna in Niger state has approved the appointment of Professor Abdullahi Bala of the Department of Soil Science and Land Management, School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, (SAAT) as the 7th Vice-Chancellor of the institution.
Professor Abdullahi Bala is to take over from Professor Musbau Akanji whose tenure expires at the end of November, 2017.
The appointment of Prof. Bala was approved at the end of the Councils’ 125th Special Council meeting held yesterday, Tuesday, 12th September, 2017.
A statement from the institution said after due considerations and recommendation of the selection committee, the authorities settled for the Soil Science expert. The choice therefore brings to an end the high level politicking, networking and series of agitations by different interest groups within the state and outside who have been angling for the Vice Chancellorship seat.
The new Vice Chancellor’s tenure starts on Sunday 3rd December, 2017 according to a letter signed by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Professor Femi Odekunle.
A copy of the letter which conveyed the message of the appointment was made available to the newsmen in Minna on Wednesday. It said the appointment is for a single term of five years.
Prof. Bala hails from Suleja in Niger state. He was born on March 27, 1967 and the attended Dawaki Primary School, Suleja between 1973 and 1979. Between 1979 to 1984, he was at the Federal Government College, Minna. He proceeded to the School of Basic Studies, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria between 1984 and 1985.
The new Vice Chancellor graduated from ABU, Zaria with a Bachelor of Agriculture Degree with First Class Hons in 1989.
He won a Commonwealth Academic Staff Scholarship for a Master’s Degree in Soil Chemistry in the University of Reading in 1992.
He got another Commonwealth Scholarship which took him to the Wye College, University of London where he bagged a doctorate degree (PhD) in Soil Microbiology in the year, 1999.
Professor Bala later joined the services of FUT, Minna on January 10, 1991 as an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Soil Science, SAAT, and progressed steadily to the rank of a Professor of Soil Science on October 1, 2010.
Our correspondent gathered that the new Vice Chancellor was first appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor, (Administration) on the 24th of February, 2012 and was later redeployed as Deputy Vice Chancellor,(Academics) barely a year after.
Other positions held by Prof. Bala after he was re-appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) for a final term of two years on March 7, 2014 included Director, Centre for Preliminary and Extra-Mural Studies, Associate Policy Analyst with the Independent Policy Group, Presidency, Abuja and Head of Department, Soil Sciences.
He also served as Inoculants Delivery Specialist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Kano Sub-station and is also a member of many professional bodies within and outside the country.
Among the national and international bodies the new Vice Chancellor belonges to includes International Union of Soil Science (IUSS), Soil Science Society of Nigeria, (SSSN) and American Society for Agronomy (ASA).
A fellow, Soil Sciences Society of Nigeria, Prof. Bala is well published in reputable, high impact journals and has supervised many students at B.Tech, M.Tech and Ph.D levels, Professor Abdullahi Bala is married with children.