October 10, 2021, will remain indelible in the minds of the millions of people who graced the official commissioning of the Centre for Tsangaya and General Studies of the National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS) in Kaduna, Kaduna state. It was, indeed, a great occasion for such a gigantic project for the training and retraining of Nigerian youths, which will take them off the streets. A research conducted recently showed that there are a lot of employment opportunities in Nigeria but what is lacking is the requisite knowledge. It’s common knowledge that the future of the world is skill acquisitions and entrepreneurship and not just a university degree.
One thing men of clout have in common is their taciturnity. Most goal-getters do their thing without blowing the rooftop with praise singing. No sector in Nigeria suffers the syndrome of ‘empty drums making the loudest noise’ like the public sector.
Nigeria’s public sector is inexplicably under the full control of what could be said to be worse than empty noise making drums. This is why the leadership acumen of the Executive Registrar of NBAIS, Prof Muhammad Shaf’u Abdullahi, is exemplary. In fact, his penchant for the best has placed NBAIS as one of the best performing federal agencies in Nigeria today. This was attested to by stakeholders in the education sector.
Many of the dignitaries present at the official commissioning of the centre, who came from far and near, described Abdullahi’s appointment as most deserving and priceless in the economic diversification drive of the President Muhammadu Buhari government. As a matter of fact, this is exactly what the Wakilin Makarantan Zazzau is doing as the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, though, ably represented and other eminent Nigerians could not hide their admiration for the astute leadership qualities of Prof Abdullahi, the Wakilin Makarantar Zazzau.
The Centre for Tsangaya and General Studies is the pragmatic conceptualisation by the NBAIS aimed at incorporating the training and retraining of Nigerians in various vocational skills of training in their mandates. This speaks volumes of the veracity and ingenuity of the erudite Prof Abdullahi, who is walking his talk to take the NBAIS to enviable heights.
The Centre for Tsangaya and General Studies will take millions of youths off the streets as they will become employers of labour after graduation from the centre. Considering the robust activities of the centre towards economic prosperity and self-reliance, it will, by extension, drastically reduce the ravaging insecurity, poverty and joblessness in the country. Aside the general studies, vocational and hands-on- training will be offered to the trainees, ranging from shoe making, bag making, soap making, GSM repairs, to computes repairs, etc.
The success story of the NBAIS will be, indeed, incomplete without underscoring the fact that the personality of its executive registrar, his legacy and sacrifices for the board will definitely outlive many.
In his speech on the occasion, Professor Abdullahi as characteristic of him giving gratitude to the Almighty Allah SWT, Alhamadulillah, the Lord of the universe, peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, Muhammad (SAW), his household and companions alike. He said, “It is my singular honour to have in our midst the Honourable Minister of Education, ably represented by the Permanent Secretary (Federal Ministry of Education). I will like to particularly mention that, this headquarters of NBAIS was commissioned by the Honourable Minister of Education on 7th March, 2018. Therefore, today marks another important milestone in the history of NBAIS”.
The erudite professor also asserted that, it is pertinent to mention that NBAIS has gone through thick and thin in its history, with landmark achievements at every stage, under the guidance of the mother ministry, the Federal Ministry of Education. “We are indeed grateful to Almighty Allah for these achievements. May He reward our efforts.
“The idea that motivated the establishment of Centre for Tsangaya and General Studies (CTGS) emanated from the directive of the Honourable Minister of Education for the NBAIS to initiate and create solution to Tsangaya education and to bring an acceptable administrative structure of Tsangaya education in Nigeria.
‘’One of its cardinal objectives and functions is that, the training of Tsangaya teachers and tutors will include skills acquisition (entrepreneurship) aimed at promoting Nigerian local Tangeem in Qur’anic recitation and the gradual and systematic integration of Tsangaya education into Nigerian education system.”
For the achievement of the above mentioned objectives, the NBAIS has assigned qualified persons among its well trained staff to ensure the successful implementation of Tsangaya activities at the centre and zones across the country. It is worth mentioning here that, some states and agencies have already shown interest in collaborating with NBAIS on Tsangaya education.
The NBAIS executive registrar expressed his profound appreciation to the federal government for the intervention received through the Federal Ministries of Education and Finance. “The Board is particularly grateful to the Honourable Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, for his support and guidance, which made this Centre a reality, just as we are glad to have him for the commissioning of the Centre.
“In the same vein, the NBAIS commends the support and cooperation it enjoys from sister agencies and other respective stakeholders, towards the success of its activities nation-wide.
On his part, the Minister of education Malam Adamu Adamu, ably represented at the occasion, said, “I am ‘delighted to address you on this great occasion of the commissioning of the Centre for Tsangaya and General Studies at the National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS), Kaduna Headquarters.
“A retrospect indicates that NBAIS was initially established in 1959/1960 as a Unit in the defunct Northern Nigerian Ministry of Education Kaduna to cater for the Arabic and Islamic studies needs of Northern Nigeria. By 2011, it had achieved national recognition and subsequently a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Education.
“The National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies has, over the years, successfully carried out its mandates of mainstreaming Arabic schools and curricular. The establishment of the Centre for Tsangaya and General Studies is a laudable step in the right direction. It is hoped that the centre would provide an avenue for training of Tsangaya teachers and tutors in different skills so that the products of the Tsangaya system would be self-reliant”.
Regardless of what anyone would say, due to ignorance or myopic display; the management of NBAIS under the leadership of Prof. M. S Abdullahi has recorded many outstanding feats. They include national certification, regulated examination board and others too numerous to mention here. He has also set a novel stage for prudent management of scarce resources. Observed financial loopholes are being closed.
Zero tolerance for corruption is the hallmark of the board. This has put him on collision course with those who are resistant to change. No wonder some are resentful of the board and its management on account of the Registrar’s insistence on prudence and accountability. Considering the level of national and international recognitions the board has attained, it is trite to conclude that Prof. Abdullahi and his management team deserve commendation.
Nigeria should rest assured the core mandate of NBAIS will be achieved to the fullest. Prof Abdullahi and his top management echelon have achieved greatness through sheer hard work, honesty and commitment. An educationist, business administrator par excellence, erudite scholar and patriot, Abdullahi is selfless, humble to a fault, and a team player.
It is his philosophy that managers should at all times live exemplary lives of service and add value always. He is focused on ensuring that the staff work towards the full actualization of the NBAIS mandate with a sense of vision and mission necessary for any organisation to thrive. In fact, the executive registrar strongly believes the NBAIS has a serious role to play in helping the government implement its policies and programmes, especially its quest for economic and national development.
el-Adanu, a public affairs analyst, writes from Kado Life Camp, FCT, Abuja.