On 1st August 2018, the Executive Director (ED) of WASCAL, Dr Moumini SAVADOGO travelled the 3 hours route from Abuja to Minna for his very first visit to the host University of MRP on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (CCALU), Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria. He was received by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Abdullahi BALA FSSN and his team comprising Prof Yahaya Iyaka (Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic), Mr Amos Kolo (Registrar), Hajiya Hajara Kuso (Bursar) and Dr Jubril Alhassan (University Liberian). In his brief address in the Office of the VC, Dr Savadogo expressed his joy at the warm visit accorded him reiterating the fact that we are a family working together to develop our community and informed the VC that WASCAL is proud of the collaboration with FUT Minna. He reminded his audience that the MRP CCALU was one of the first to be established by WASCAL and the programme had already graduated 30 high performing students from 10 different countries, emphasizing that these graduates are WASCAL’s contribution to regional intergration within ECOWAS. He added that the MRP is being upgraded to a DRP and thanked Professor Appollonia Okhimamhe, the Director of CCALU for the excellent work she has been doing. While thanking the University for its support, he emphasized the need for continued support of Nigeria in the WASCAL partnership.
In his response, Professor Bala, the VC of FUT Minna, expressed his pleasure as this visit was long awaited. He expressed his appreciation of the investment BMBF made through WASCAL in sponsoring MRP CCALU and thanked the ED for the upgrade to a DRP. He informed the ED that the University will do its best to continue to contribute towards the success and sustainability of WASCAL being a very important international programme in the University, adding that the University is cognisant of the fact that external funding may not always be available. He promised to provide the necessary support WASCAL while acknowledging that the quality of the graduates is such that they are employable anywhere. Informing the august visitors that the University had discussed ways of retaining some of the best students to teach in FUT Minna but had to concede to the fact that their countries may want them back home.
The ED also met with other members of FUT Minna WASCAL family in the University’s Senate Chambers, namely members of the CCALU FUT Minna Advisory and Academic Board, Supervisors and Lecturers that had participated in Batch A, B and C activities. He presented the achievement of WASCAL, in general, to the members commending them for contributing towards developing ECOWAS capacity to tackle climate change. He informed the members that so far WASCAL has recruited 258 young men and women that were fully sponsored by BMBF, out of which 195 have graduated with either a PhD or Master degree from the 10 WASCAL host Universities, while the DRP students are at various stages of their programme.
From the FUT Minna Senate Chambers, the August visitors proceeded to CCALU complex where they toured the building and scrutinized posters of students’ research carried out by Batches A, B and C students, who are now proud graduates of the University. The ED concluded his visit with an interview by reporters from the University’s Search FM radio station. The ED was accompanied by the Director of Capacity Building, Professor Janet Adelegan and Dr Vincent Ajayi, the Deputy Director of WACS, FUT Akure.