By Dipo Okubanjo
The Nigerian Army has solicited the assistance of Covenant University for the establishment of a proposed Nigerian Army University of Science and Technology.
The leader of a delegation from the Nigerian Army Institute of Technology and Environment Studies, Maj. Gen Mathias Efeovbokhan (rtd), made the disclosure on Friday, January 20, 2017, during a courtesy visit to the Management of Covenant University at the University’s campus in Ota, Ogun State.
Maj. Gen Efeovbokhan, who is Chairman of the committee set up by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, to midwife the Army University, said that the decision to establish the Nigerian Army University of Science and Technology was informed by the needs assessment that was carried out by the COAS. Lt. Gen Buratai, he said, found out that there were problems in the Nigerian Military but no place where you can get solutions.
“I want a university that would be a solution centre; a university that can provide credible and mathematical solutions not only for problems of the Nigerian Army, but also the problems of the Military and by extension that of the nation,” the COAS was quoted as saying.
The COAS, according to Maj. Gen Efeovbokhan, holds Covenant University in very high regards due to its trailblazing antecedents and spiritual foundation, qualities that informed the decision to seek a collaborative engagement between Covenant University and the proposed Army University, which would be sited in Biu, Borno State, and scheduled to take off later in the year.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor Shalom Chinedu, expressed delight that the Nigerian Army had found the University worthy of being a mentor and partner in national development. He said that the task of establishing the Army University would be accomplished through hard work. Also, he suggested that one of the areas both Covenant University and the Army University can collaborate is resource development or training as CU, today, gives training to staff of other organisations.
In his comments, the Director, Academic Planning Unit, Covenant University, Dr. Olawande Daramola, described the Nigerian Army University of Science and Technology initiative as a laudable objective, adding that it was a symbol of forward thinking by the government. Covenant University, he said, feels honoured that it was recognized as having the capacity to contribute to the success of the project.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor AAA. Atayero, thanked the Nigerian Army Institute of Technology and Environment Studies for giving the University the opportunity to share with others what God has been using the University to do. He emphasised that Covenant University was birthed by vision and attributed the success story of the University to the compelling nature of the vision.
He urged the Nigerian Army to be ready to pursue with vigour the philosophy behind the establishment of the proposed university to make a success of it. “In our humble role as mentor we’ll do everything to help you in your endeavor. If your vision is compelling enough, you will go for it with tenacity. I see us working together as partners, collaborating on problems being faced by the Military,” he said.
While impressing it on the visiting delegation that the partnership has the full support of the Covenant University Chancellor, Dr. David O. Oyedepo, Professor Atayero said the way to take the partnership forward is through further discussions.
Also on the entourage of Maj. Gen Efeovbokhan were Maj. Gen C.O Ojo, Brig. Gen L.F Abdullahi, Col. A.O Amaechi, Professor Usman A. Molid and Mr. Kalli A. Kori.
Representatives of Covenant University at the meeting also included the Registrar, Mrs. Mary Aboyade; Director, Financial Services, Pastor Bayo Oladehinbo; Director, Vice-Chancellor’s Office, Dr. David Omole; and Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Affairs, Mr. Emmanuel Igban.