VALEDICTORY SPEECH BY THE OUT-GOING PRESIDENT, STUDENT UNION GOVERNMENT, UNIVERSITY OF MAIDUGURI
FAROUK, MOHAMMAD AHMAD GCUS, CNS
Today as I stand before you all, I feel honored and sad at the same time; honored because of the remarkable and appreciable privilege bestowed toward me to deliver this valedictory speech; sad, sad because it’s me who has to do the tough job of bidding you a farewell.
The Vice-Chancellor sir, distinguished ladies and gentlemen; Being at the echelon of the student union, we have been so privileged enough to interact quite frequently with the members of staff and indeed the management of this citadel of learning. We have learnt a lot from many of you and you have inspired us in many different ways. We are leaving here today with a wealth of knowledge we will always treasure. Working here has been a fantastic learning experience, and we are thankful for the modicum of experience we have garnered.
I feel as if being here with you all each day has made me a more complete and well-rounded person. I have learned how to take direction, criticism, and compliments. I have also learned to be open-minded, to value other people’s opinions and to consider other ideas along with mine, to end up with a great final result. These are things I wasn’t so great at taking before, and now I feel as though I can apply that in many different situations.
The Vice-Chancellor sir, distinguished ladies and gentlemen; about 15 months ago when we took over the mantle of leadership of this great union, we knew truly well, it was quite daunting and challenging task but we so much believed most our problems are surmountable. To vindicate our earlier resolve, the following is progress recorded:
To revamp, reform and set the union on the path of prosperity, sustainable growth and progress, we have developed Consolidated Action Plan (Based on SWOT Analysis) for 2018/2019 academic session, which served as a collaborative process for the SUG to establish a unified vision for the union development actions. It offered the Executive the opportunity to develop projects and programs into an effective, coordinated set of strategies that addressed most of the needs and problems of students while complimenting the management in her efforts toward radicalizing the transformation of University to a world class institution. The specific achievements include:
Formulation and implementation of students-oriented policies, programs and projects which assisted in rekindling the hope of the management and the community on the student union leadership.
Inclusiveness in governance through open door policy, constitution of various standing and adhoc committees and periodic interactive sessions with class reps, departmental, faculty and other unions, clubs and associations presidents has helped significantly in the involvement of great deal of our students in decision making.
Canvassing for the right and privileges of our students using the best diplomatic medium did not only strengthen the bond of friendship and solidarity between the union and the management but also heralded the accomplishment of the giant striates in the area of student unionism within and outside the university.
Active participation of SUG in most activities concerning students at the local, national and international levels has helped immensely in revitalizing the union, perhaps the nomination of the SUG president, UNIMAID as chairman; NSUPF.
Prompt response to students’ problems through effective communications and feedback had raised the awareness of our students on their roles, rights and privileges as responsible citizens and has helped in building confidence of students on the SUG leadership.
Maiden Freshers Week for our new students aimed at warmly welcoming and facilitating their adjustment to the new environment did not only accomplish the sole goal but also contributed in strengthening the peaceful coexistence amongst students.
Transparency, accountability and probity in governance, effective use of social media and continuous updates on SUG activities had contributed toward rebranding the union.
This administration left no stone unturned in the strive to improve earnestly the social welfare of our students which is one of the standing pillars of student’s unionism. These giant efforts responsive to the diverse and constantly changing needs of students on campus, has helped to create conducive and peaceful environment for effective learning. Having a lot to mention but here are the few:
Reduction in commodity price, most especially at the student center where the SUG is in charge.
Open Air theatre gate fee was reduced from N150 to N50 for (Combined Match); N100 to N30 for (Single Match) and Price of Keke Napep reduced from N40 to N30 respectively.
Provision of Iftar (Breakfast) to our students during the month of Ramadan in the examination halls.
Sallah get together during Eid-Alfitir and Sallah feast during Eid-Adha (about 7 cattle slaughter). Thanks to our amiable, diligent and indefatigable VC Prof Aliyu Shugaba.
Befitting Interhall (Dean’s Cup) Football competition and football friendly match between UNIMAID and RAMATPOLY.
Extension of Pedestrian Park closure time from 6:00 PM to 8:00PM and lift of ban on school bags.
Uninterrupted DSTV subscription across all halls of residence and procurement of new set of TV and Decoders for BOT, New Male A and Manguno Halls.
Provision of water fetchers/drawers (Guga) across all dams on campus.
In Addition, the SUG had facilitated the:
Provision of potable water supply and electricity in the hostels and academic area.
Reinstatement of benevolence fund by the management for the less privileged and downtrodden students to cushion insolvency.
Settlement of medical bill to the downtrodden students who can’t afford it. Eg Donation of Two (2) Million naira (N2,000,000) to Mustapha Ibrahim billed for renal transplantation.
Installation of WiFI (Free internet) on campus, which is at it advance stage completion. Thanks to our agile, vibrant and digital Prof; Pof Babagana Gutti.
Provision of drugs and other consumable in the university clinic and prompt referal of complicated cases.
Installation and electrification of reading venues, hostels and lecture halls with about 50% of the ceiling fans replaced or repaired.
Renovation of some hostel blocks and repairs of seats in the lecture halls and reading venues.
Renovation and construction of toilets on campus and provision of tap water in the toilets e.g Titanic halls from 1-3 flow.
Fumigation of hostels and reading venues to combat mosquitoes.
To provide opportunities for students’ leadership development and capacity building through organizing programs on various areas of human endeavors, which enhances personal development as a complement to academic experience, we have orchestrated the following viz:
Female inclined programs.
Public lecture and continues sensitization of students.
Student half hour program twice a week on Kanem FM aimed at sensitizing the students on contemporary issues.
Engaging corporate organization to support scholarship E.g Huawei/Glo, unileaver and De United Food limited.
Participation in symposia such as:
Youth Role in rebuilding Borno State, Maiduguri 2018
Student Unionism in Nigeria, Abuja 2018
Role of women in humanitarian Crisis, ORCHAD/UNIMAID 2019
Participation in Student Union Leaders Conference, Ghana 2019.
Participation in Student Leaders Summit, Minna 2019
Collaborations with NGOs in the Commemoration of International Days relevant to our students.
To effectively and prudently manage the SUG resources for the best interest of our students, we have invested significant part of the SUG fund in the construction, renovation and preservation of facilities for current and future generations of students by practicing continuous high standard of construction, maintenance, sustainability and refurbishment. The milestones covered include:
Construction of SUG garden.
Construction of PROF ALIYU SHUGABA, PROF M.A UMAR AND PROF A.M GIMBA SUG Bus stops respectively.
Fabrication and installation of First Aid Kits across all hotels.
Fabrication and Installation of Laundry Strings across all blocks in the hostels.
Construction of Volleyball courts in the hostels.
Distribution of Sporting facilities/equipment in the hostels.
Connection of student Centre water supply to the main pipe and construction of tap parapet.
Installation of burglarproofs in the common rooms.
Repairs and reinforcement of Common room chairs.
Procurement of standing fans in the common rooms.
Renovation and furnishing of SUG presidential Villa and SUG Secretariat.
Procurement, renovation and furnishing of Vice-Presidential Lodge.
The Vice-Chancellor sir, ladies and gentlemen; these milestones wouldn’t have been achieved but for the unflinching support and cooperation bestowed toward me by the immediate past and present leadership of of the university and student Affairs Division, academic and non academic staff of the university, my amiable HOD and the entire staff of the department, SUG stakeholders, SUG 2018/2019 excos, my amiable and dedicated appointees and indeed the entire students of the university.
We would indeed miss a home to Nobel laureates, technocrats, seasoned politicians and emeriti; we would miss a place where erudite professors debate, superstars perform, researchers break through with astounding discoveries and scientists save lives. We would also miss a place where more than 40 languages are spoken on any given day and where we get to call the ancient, historic and extraordinary – Kanem Borno empire, the city of Maiduguri as the host community.
The Vice-Chancellor sir, distinguished ladies and gentlemen; It’s been a pleasure studying here while at the same time serving as the SUG President, and I will genuinely miss it. I take with me fond memories, valuable skills and experience, and I hope to one day leave an impression on others similar to the one you have left on me.
The Vice-Chancellor sir, distinguish ladies and gentlemen; My wish for everyone here is that you all continue to experience success, to feel fulfilled in all you do, and to have nothing but pleasant results with each completed project! While that may be an overly optimistic wish, it is sincere.
I thank you very much and God bless you all!
Credit: Unimaid Update