By Chila Andrew
When Professor Muhammad Tanko, a distinguished Abusite and respected professor of Accounting and Finance was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of Kaduna State University in January 2017 by another distinguished Abusite and current Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, many believed it was more about the Abusite connection and less about capacity.
Professor Muhammad Tanko who was born in 1969 in the kawo area of Kaduna state, obtained his first degree from Bayero University, Kano, where he graduated with a B.Sc. Accounting (2.1) in 1991.
Professor Muhammad Tanko proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria where he earned a Trinity of degrees; an M.Sc. in Accounting and Finance in 1997, an MBA in 2000, and a PhD in Accounting and Finance in 2005.
The former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Kaduna State University (KASU), was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the University in January 2017 by Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai.
The total transformation recorded at KASU Since the assumption of office of Professor Muhammad Tanko as the 7th vice-chancellor of Kaduna State University has since changed the narrative. Being an Abusite may have molded him for leadership, his appointment was purely about his competence, capacity, and capability.
Under his watch, The Kaduna State University(KASU) on 19th December 2019, secured final accreditation for its medical program and now has a full-fledged medical program that can graduate fresh doctors with a recognized Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery first-degree. This is no mean feat and one that should be commended.
It was also under his watch that the University secured full accreditation for 27 undergraduate and four postgraduate programs from the National Universities Commission (NUC) in 2018.
And just months after, the Kaduna State University in conjunction with staff members of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, celebrated the attainment of the full accreditation status of the faculty by the National Universities Commission (NUC)
Prior to the accreditation exercise, the faculty had seven (7) sets of students with two sets (KASU/12/PHM and KASU/13/PHM) unable to commence the compulsory internship program due to the lack of PCN accreditation of the faculty.
The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, established in 2012 with another distinguished Abusite Prof. Ahmed Tijjani Mora as the founding dean, commenced with five departments (Departments of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Pharmacognosy, and Drug Development, Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Clinical Pharmacy & Pharmacy Management, and Pharmaceutical & Medicinal Chemistry).
KASU subsequently inducted its first batch of Pharmacy graduates in 2019.
Under Professor Muhammad Tanko, The Kaduna State University (KASU) has maintained a tougher stance on Exam malpractice. In the 2018/2019 academic session alone, the University expelled about 80 students for various forms of examination malpractices.
In the area of research which Prof. Muhammad Tanko, described as “key in responding to human needs”, the vice-chancellor has constantly kept the state government on its toes, and in return, the El-Rufa’i led-administration has substantially supported the promotion of research activities in the university.
Thanks to the support from the Kaduna State Government, the university has just set up a research grant tagged, “KASU–VC Mini Research Fund”.
The fund, established in 2020, is to give out research grants every year to academic staff in KASU and scholars affiliated to the university for multidisciplinary research.
To put this into practice, the Vice Chancellor early May, 2020 announced a multidisciplinary research fund of N150,000 grant to 20 scholars to undertake the research on Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The research fund, which is in collaboration with ICT University, Louisiana, USA, would fund studies that generate fresh insights and improve on extant knowledge on COVID-19 and its impact on the implementation of SDGs in the state.
With the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus and the resultant closure of all schools including universities, The Kaduna State University was one of the first in the country to announced commencement of online lectures for its students at home during the ‘lockdown’ period.
According to Prof. Muhammad Tanko; “Schools have been closed for a while now and our students are idling away at home following the stay-at-home order. The e-lectures would, therefore, keep students busy with academic activities while at home, and may enable us to catch up with the academic calendar,”.
Prof. Muhammad Tanko has also brought on board, high moral discipline, and decency to KASU. He has never hidden his disdain for bad practices such as cultism, drug abuse, and indecent dressing, etc.
This is because of his strong belief that high moral discipline must be the students’ driving principle in order to achieve desired outcomes. Involvement in any “bad act” in KASU is simply a one-way ticket out of the institution.
His penchant for merit and academic excellence must also be commended. Under his watch, the university has tightened its already strict admission process. He has consistently maintained that merit and merit alone should be the major yardstick for admission into various faculties and departments of the institution.
In the area of infrastructure development, a visit to the university tells it all. Prof Tanko has touched, retouched, and is still touching every corner of the institution. Kaduna State University (KASU) has signed a partnership agreement with BMM Limited to develop a hostel on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
He has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to be provided with infrastructural facility by the ICT University, the United States of America, to enhance learning in the institution.
There is no doubt that Prof. Muhammad Tanko has done credibly well in his role and deserves an “A” score. No matter how stingy you are with your scores, you can not deny him a strong “B” after a fair assessment of his performance at KASU in the last three years.
Chila Andrew is the founder of The Abusite. A platform that celebrates Abusites around the world. Email: Theabusites@gmail.com