By Nuru Kamal, Sub-Editor, Personality & PR Reports.
It was the late American poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou who said “you can only become truly accomplished at something you love.” This is indeed true for Professor Faruk Rashid Haruna, Provost of Federal College of Education, Kontagora, whose love and dedication to duties has seen him achieving not just great accomplishment but the nod to continue in office for a second term.
For Professor Haruna, who is also variously known as bulldozer, trailblazer or Julius Berger, his deep commitment to discharging the duties of his office was only in keeping with the promise he made when he took over the leadership of the college in April, 2018. At the time, he committed to doing “everything germane in the promotion of change mantra and to reposition the college to be among the best Colleges of Education in the Country.” But as he was busy working assiduously to deliver on his promises, those who matter were observing and taking notes. It was therefore little surprise when news filtered in that the workaholic Prof has again been re-appointed to head the College for another four years.
The re-appointment, very well deserved, would not come as a surprise to anyone who has keenly followed developments in the College, especially in the last four years of Professor Haruna’s leadership. As the 11th Provost and the Chief Executive Officer of the College, the trailblazer indeed blazed the trail in all ramifications, transforming the Federal College of Education, Kontagora, into an enviable citadel of learning which could rival any other best performing College anywhere in Nigeria. With his unique leadership and astute managerial abilities, Professor F.R. Haruna embarked on holistic reforms and development of the College, enhanced physical structures, improved staff and students’ welfare and significantly raised academic standard.
It’s said that one good turn deserves another, but there are indeed many lofty achievements, not just one, that recommended Professor Haruna for this second term in office. He is truly a traiblazer who has blazed the trail and recorded achievements that are so numerous and diverse that they almost sound incredible. While it is impossible to chronicle the achievements of this man of action in just one piece of writing, it is necessary to mention the most outstanding.
Among his numerous achievements, Professor Haruna in his first year in office, 2018, embarked on constructions that would aid the physical development of the College. Some of these include the construction of blocks of lavatories in both male and female hostels; two lecture theatres for school of sciences and school of languages; ICT building with 46 capacity computer room; model office for Business Education department; farm and tractor shed workshop for Agricultural Science department; geographical and biological gardens with laboratory, construction of two 150m deep motorised boreholes, the rehabilitation of lecture hall in the school of languages and two blocks of chief lecturers’ office.
In the same 2018, the bulldozer made procurements that were aimed at improving operational efficiency within the College. Some of the items purchased included three utility vehicles, including a Toyota Prado Landcruiser; procurement and installation of classroom/office furniture, seats and fittings; procurement and installation of solar street lights; procurement and installation of furniture and fittings for the school of language, school of sciences, ICT building, model office building, farm-shed building, geographical and biological gardens.
In 2019, the tireless Provost did not relent in his efforts. He again proceeded with key interventions, including the procurement and installation of chemistry laboratory equipment; procurement and installation of classroom furniture and equipments; procurement and installation of physics, geography, fine and applied arts laboratory equipments.
As it is said, consistency is the hallmark of greatness. Professor Haruna sustained his great and inspiring leadership in the College all through year 2020, making procurements and embarking on construction and rehabilitation of structures. Among these were the rehabilitation of the childcare centre and the lecture hall in the school of languages; procurement of two utility vehicles and pickup; procurement of furniture items and computer equipments; construction of one storey building for the school of secondary education; procurement of assorted textbooks and reference materials; procurement of inverter accessories; purchase and installation of e-granary library server and accessories; purchase of ICT and other office equipments.
In the same 2020, there were special interventions projects, including ongoing TETFUND and Ministry of Finance special intervention projects which include; construction of two storey library complex, multi-functional hall, procurement and installation of furniture and fittings for multi-functional hall and science complex building, procurement and installation of furniture and fittings for library complex building and the rehabilitation of six number of students’ hostels (2 Females and 4 Males).
In the final year of his first tenure as provost, 2021, Professor Haruna continued in his committed stride to reposition the College for greater service delivery and efficiency. He expanded and rehabilitated the college clinic; rehabilitated the male and female hostels; constructed and equipped the science laboratory; constructed and equipped 1000 capacity ICT Centre; provision of borehole with overhead tank; and the rehabilitation of male hostel and construction of perimeter fence round the female hostels.
A performer attracts not only admiration but also the support of stakeholders who will inevitably see the need to aid the capacity for greater achievements. Consequently, organisations and individuals, seeing the committed leadership provided by Professor Haruna in the College, advanced assistance through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) interventions.
Among the CSR projects recorded by the college during the impactful reign of the trailblazer in his first term of office include;
— Renovation of college auditorium named after Col. Sani Bello (Rtd) by mainstream energy resources.
— Donation of solar-powered streetlights by RT Hon. A. I. Garba.
— Donation of boreholes by mainstream energy resources.
— Renovation of the old administrative block
Aside from the projects that have already been completed in the College, such as the twin Lecture Theaters, Staff Offices (one storey building each for three schools), biological garden, renovation of all the students’ hostels (male and female), fencing of the female hostels and construction of new two-storey building library complex, to mention but a few; other construction works presently on-going in the College include:
(i) Multi-purpose hall for events.
(ii) One storey building which will serve as Science Laboratory.
(iii) Renovation and expansion of College Clinic.
(iv) ICT centre which will also serve as JAMB Computer Based Test (CBT) centre.
(v) Resource centre for Social Studies Department.
Expanding on a vision of using the College as instrument for community development, Professor Faruk Rashid Haruna expanded academic frontiers to the neighbouring communities by taking education to their door steps through the establishment of Distance Learning Directorate, which currently has twelve learning centres in Bida, Agaie, Mariga, Muye, Kishi, Rijau, Batati, Mokwa, New Bussa, Paiko and Minna.
Other notable achievements of Prof. Faruk Rashid Haruna include the procurement of new ambulance for the College clinic for prompt response.
Despite all his glowing achievements, by far the most eye-grabbing accomplishment of Prof. Faruk Haruna is perhaps his exploit in raising the status of the College to Federal University of Education, Kontagora. He was able to achieve this feat with the support of the distinguished Senator Alhaji Aliyu Sabi and Rt. Hon. Idris Garba, both representatives of zone C, Niger State. This followed the passage of a bill which sought to convert the College to a full fledged University, which was assented to by the President and Commander in-Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari (GCFR) and gazetted on the 26th January, 2022.
The Federal College of Education, Kontagora, has never had it so good. Prof. Faruk Rashid Haruna has no doubt raised the bar, and the College, which has continued to witness unprecedented development in all facets, is all the better for it.
With his monumental and sustained achievements in the areas of improved academic activities, physical and infrastructural development, installation of security equipments and other projects, it is no doubt certain that the Federal College of Education, Kontagora, is poised for even greater glory in the days ahead. As Professor Haruna, the Wakilin Makarantun Zazzau, Suleja and Majindadi Doko, begins his second term in office, one can only pray for greater strength and deep insight for him to continue on this path of glory for the College.