By Fred Ezeh, Abuja
University of Abuja (UNIABUJA), on Monday, renewed its partnership with the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), on empowerment opportunities for students and ACCI staff, instituting legal backing to the agreement.
Both parties had signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) early in the year, which they admitted, had yielded the needed result, hence the need to strengthen the relationship with legal backing.
UNIABUJA Vice Chancellor, Prof AbdulRasheed Na’Allah, said: “ACCI has provided opportunities for our students on Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), internship and other areas of interest.
Universities are nothing without industries and communities, hence the industries must feel the impact of the universities as they work to create or add quality to existing products and satisfy the needs of the people.
“Let’s upgrade whatever we have so we can implement specific agreements that have the backing of the law. UNIABUJA’s Senate recently approved the establishment of Geology and Mineral Science, and that was because of the support received from ACCI. We are working on so many things that would yield positive results.”
He challenged academic staff of the university to go beyond teaching and engaging students in classrooms and play greater role in the creating opportunities for the students: “Academics should have partnership with industries to train and produce the required workforce.”
President, ACCI, Dr Al-Mujitaba Abubakar, said:
“This MoU was signed on June 18, 2021. It prepared both parties to prepare a skilled work force, business and educational institutions to preserve our nation’s competitiveness and economic strength in response to a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive world.
“Both parties agreed to partner in the areas of research, training, capacity building and continuing education, workshops and conferences, executive and regular MBAs, skills development, technology and knowledge transfer, preparation of curriculum and modules for specialized trainings, policy advocacy, among others.
“The partnership was scheduled to be carried out through UNIABUJA Business School, Centre for Sponsored Projects, Internship & Linkages Services, Centre for Undergraduate Research, centre for SIWES and Student Employment.
“Since then, the university has been partnering with the four centres of the ACCI, namely, Business Entrepreneurship Skills and Technology Centre (BEST Centre), Policy Advocacy Centre (PAC), Dispute Resolution Centre (DRC) and Abuja Trade Centre (ATC).
“The relationship has been cordial and mutually beneficial. However, it is time to take it to a new level. We need to upgrade the relationship from just MoU to legal partnership across investment related fields. The project on infrastructural development of the university vast land is best handled when there are legal commitments.
“We would support the fast tracking of the investment process through anchoring of an investment readiness study. This will require legal agreement to secure mutual investment between the partners.”
He called on the Vice Chancellor and the management of UNIABUJA to support the upgrade for the mutual benefit of both parties. Abubakar was represented by Victoria Akai, Director General, ACCI.