The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Friday inaugurated a N6 billion World-Class Postgraduate Business School at the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony held at ABU main campus, Samaru, Zaria, the CBN Deputy Governor, Suleiman Barau, said the gesture was part of the bank’s corporate social responsibilities.
He appreciated the pivotal role education played in driving the economy.
Mr. Barau said part of the bank’s developmental functions was to support the educational sub-sector in Nigeria through the provision of physical structures.
“The Centre of Excellence Project in ABU was conceived in April 2009 and awarded in October 2009 to Messrs. AFDIN Nigeria Limited.
“In conceiving this project, the aim of the bank was to ensure students at postgraduate levels in Economics, Accounting, Banking and Finance, Business Administration and Statistics study in a serene and ambient environment.
“An environment that would stimulate effective learning with a view to building human capacity for the financial services sub-sector,” Mr. Barau said.
He identified other universities that similar project was executed to include; University of Ibadan and University of Nigeria Nsukka.
Mr. Barau added that the bank would also embark on similar projects in Bayero University Kano, BUK; University of Port Harcourt; University of Jos; and University of Maiduguri.
The deputy governor said beyond the structures, CBN was supporting the three piloting universities with N2 billion each for the running of the edifice for five years.
He said the ABU Business School “is no doubt a world class base” with modern lecture halls, administrative block, students’ accommodation, laundry, and kitchen among others.
In his speech, the ABU Vice-Chancellor, Ibrahim Garba, lauded the efforts of CBN on “its gigantic move toward advancing education in Nigeria.”
Mr. Garba, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Kabir Bala; said the edifice, named “Centre of Excellence’’ was dedicated to post graduate studies.
“Certainly, the vision of the university in reforming business education would have taken a long time to be realised without this postgraduate structure offered by CBN.
“It is a structure that matches any business school complex in the world in terms of functionality as well as currency and we are indeed grateful,” he said.
The VC said ABU was encouraged for being the first in Nigeria to transit its Business and Economics education into a full Faculty structure.
“This is what is being practiced in advanced universities including Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford.
“ABU benchmarked top 25 business schools in the world, in terms of best practices, with regard to administrative and course content, to arrive at this model.
“Our business and economics studies culture is also consistent with CBN’s Local Content Drive in training and academic research,’’ he said.
Mr. Garba said the symbolic relationship would meet the bank’s training/research needs. He also said the university’s collaboration with foreign experts and facilitators would provide new experience and exposure unparalleled in the country.
Earlier, the Director of Procurement, CBN, Lazarus Aboh, said the project was conceived under the bank’s corporate social responsibilities.
He said the building had 360 seating capacity auditorium, e-library, hostels for 194 students, kitchen, cafeteria facility and laundry services among others.
The director urged the university to ensure adequate maintenance of the facility for maximum use.