By Auta Obadiah Dauda, Zaria

A former Deputy Vice Chancellor and Administrator of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria an a distinguished Abusite, Prof Kabir Bala has taken the mantle of leadership of the university today.

It will be recalled that in a statement released by the Chairman of the Governing Council of the university, Alh. Adamu Fika on 22nd January, 2020, Prof. Kabir Bala was announced the Vice Chancellor selected.

The chairman, at the end of their meeting held at Arewa House, Kaduna, said “the governing council was strictly guided by law in the selection process.”

WHO IS PROFESSOR KABIRU BALA?

Professor Kabir Bala is a professional Builder and a professor of Construction Management.

“He was born on January 7th, 1964 in Kaduna. His late father, who is his role model, had insisted that every member of the family be enrolled in both Islamic and western schools from age four.

“Today, his family can boast of producing a registered nurse (RN), an accountant, business administrator, medical doctor, a scientist, historian, engineer, and an Air Force officer among others.

“Professor Kabir Bala was versed in the Hadith from a tender age, which earned him the name ‘Malam’.

According to the oxford dictionary.com, in Nigeria and other parts of Africa, Malam means a learned man or scribe. And according to books.google.com, Malam or Mwalimu are both from the Arabic word Mu’allim, which literally means ‘teacher’. So, Malam Kabir Bala has been a distinguished teacher several years before becoming a professor.

“At the Local Education Authority (LEA) Primary School Unguwan Sarki, he recalled being in the same class with the children of governors, ministers, administrators and inspectors of education among others, and scored the system then high because there was monitoring and evaluation.

“When Professor Kabir Bala was in primary two, he was once knocked down by a car while hurrying to cross the road to school because he didn’t want to be flogged by the headmaster for coming to school late.

“He said he was lucky as drivers in those days were more careful, licensed, and there were fewer cars compared to the heavy traffic and fast cars seen nowadays. The road was a single lane and there were elders who assisted pupils to cross the Ali Akilu Road. He was resuscitated and taken home, and he resumed school the following day. His favorite subject in primary school was Arithmetic and later Mathematics.

“His academic pursuits after primary school include Barewa College Zaria, from where he graduated in 1981. He enrolled for Interim Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (IJMB) at the School of Basic Studies ABU, Zaria 1982 and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Building in 1985.

“Malam Kabir Bala worked briefly at Amana Development Company in Kaduna and on December 10th 1987, he was offered employment as a lecturer or Graduate Assistant at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and rose through the ranks to become a Professor of Construction Management on 1st October 2007.

“After joining the ABU Zaria in 1987, he obtained Masters of Science Building Services in 1990, another Masters in Business Administration in 1998 and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Construction Management in 2001; all from Ahmadu Bello University. He was at the Department of Civil Engineering, Surveying and Building, University of Abertay, Dundee Scotland as a Visiting Scholar in 1995.

“He has taught and examined several undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and has successfully supervised over 10 doctorates and over 30 Masters Degree students. He has over 80 publications in national and international academic journals and referred conference proceedings to his credit; about half of the published work after attaining the rank of Professorship.

“He has also attracted research grants from a variety of funding sources, and donations in kind for the university to the tune of €55, 000.00. He also facilitated collaboration between ABU and the University of Salford, England.

“Professor Kabir Bala was a two-time unusual Head of Department. First, while a junior staff from 2001 to 2006 and then from 2010 to 2014. He was the pioneer ICT Coordinator of the university from 2005 to 2006 and Deputy Dean Faculty of Environmental Design from 2006 to 2008.

“He also served as Director of Academic Planning and Monitoring from 2010 to 2013. He rose to become the Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies and later the Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration.

“In February 2013, he was appointed chairman of the Board of Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) in recognition of his contributions to the growth and development of the Building profession, and in October 2013, he was also appointed as a Member of the Board of the National Universities Commission (NUC), both by the Nigerian president.

“Professor Kabir Bala is an External Assessor for Professorial appointments of many academics, for seven universities in Nigeria.

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