Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Barely 10 months after Nigerian Dr Bello Mohammed Magaji was awarded the best Law Lecturer at Uganda’s Kampala International University, the academic has been appointed to head a research team for a one-year period.
Magaji told our correspondent in a telephone chat that this time around he was appointed by an Islamic University in Uganda to lead two other researchers to cover three East Africa countries.
The research areas include sustainable agriculture, education, energy, climate change, sustainable cities, among other areas.
In March 2019, the best lecturer award was issued to Magaji by the University Council with the approval of the Vice Chancellor, Dr Mouhamad Mpezamihigo, at the main campus of the institution in Kansanga, Kampala.
Dr Magaji was honoured from a list of more than 85 Lecturers who were nominated for the award.
The award is usually given to a lecturer that has distinguished himself in Teaching, Supervision of Post Graduate thesis and internal examination of thesis for external examiners.
Magaji had been a lecturer at the police academy in Wudil, Kano State, before he left Nigeria for Uganda.
His latest appointment is by the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) which was founded and funded by an Islamic organisation.
The IUIU, he said, will be overseeing the research team for the duration of the research work.
“For starters, I was processed and granted a diplomatic service visa to give me unhindered movement within the East African subregion for the duration of the research, which is one year,” Magaji said.
“It is worthy of note that the university has a sizeable Christian staff and students from all over the world, including members of the Technical Aid Corp from Nigeria.”
Asked how he would cope with the new assignment whilst still an active lecturer, Dr Magaji said: “Combining lecturing and research work are part and parcel of every academician. In fact, they go pari passu. While lecture hours have specific time frames, research work is done at your own time, but within certain guidelines.
“However for convenience of the lead researcher, some institutions reduce his teaching workload to give him more time on the research. For me, this is not new. When on three occasions I was funded by TETFUND to conduct research while at Kaduna Polytechnic, I was able to combine my research work and lectures without much ado.
“This present research is expected to cover three countries in the East African subregion, namely Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.
“The team I submitted in my proposal consisted of three members, including myself as the Principal or Lead Researcher with one other Nigerian Ms Oby Aghara, Deputy Dean of law of Islamic University in Uganda, and Dr Edrissa Kasoozie, a Ugandan.
“Ms Oby is a Nigerian from Imo state.
“Of the three research members, two are Muslims, while Ms Oby is a Christian.
“Islamic University is founded and funded by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (formerly Organisation of Islamic Countries), of which Nigeria is a member. They have seven of such universities in the world, with Uganda as one for the African continent.”