Vice Chancellor, University of Abuja, Professor Abdulrasheed Na'Allah


As the sun sets on his illustrious tenure, students and staff of the Centre for SIWES (CSIWES) and Centre for Student Employment and Mentoring (CSEM), stand in awe of the transformative legacy that would be left behind by our esteemed Vice Chancellor, Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah. With boundless dedication and unwavering commitment, Professor Na’Allah has propelled our university to new heights, leaving an indelible mark on the academia’s landscape.

Among his myriad accomplishments, perhaps this shines brightest-the establishment of Student Employment and Mentoring Schemes. This beacon of opportunity has not only provided financial assistance to countless students but also served as a nurturing ground for personal and professional growth. Through the visionary Student Employment Scheme (SES) pioneered by Professor Na’Allah, over 500 graduates with exemplary academic records have been empowered to contribute meaningfully to campus life while easing the burden of education expenses.


Their stories stand as a testament to the transformative power of empowerment and opportunity.
The SES, launched upon his assumption of office in July 2019, allowed students with first class or second class upper CGPA to work on campus, gaining invaluable work experience while receiving stipends for hours worked. The scheme not only taught students crucial lessons of money and time management, but also assisted many in paying their school and hostel fees amongst other expenses. The personal stories of those who benefited from the SES are testament to its success. Chigozie Ogbuagbu expressed gratitude, stating, “Thanks to the efforts of the Vice Chancellor and the Student Employment Scheme. I was able to purchase a laptop, pay house bills, and boost my self-esteem in both work and personal interactions.” Similarly, Aregbesola Marvelous said, “Thanks to the Vice Chancellor, valuable experience was gained during my time as a student worker experience that others often have to pay for in the outside world.” Otteh Ernest added, “The SES gave me a reason to continually improve my grades, as remaining a worker was contingent upon continued academic excellence.” These testimonials are just a few among many that highlights the profound impact of the SES.

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In December 2023, student workers erected a monument in honour of Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, expressing their appreciation for the lasting legacy of this initiative.
Furthermore, under Professor Na’Allah’s stewardship, CSEM has blossomed into a hub of mentorship and guidance. The Student Mentoring Scheme (SMS), another significant and treasured initiative that paired 100 and 200 level students as mentees with 300 level and above who have been trained as mentors also emerged. Thanks to the visionary leadership of the Vice Chancellor, over 10,000 students are productively engaged while over 2,000 have successfully passed through the Scheme with testimonials of varying positive impact. The Mentoring scheme, along with the Student Employment Scheme, has now been institutionalized as a university policy for all undergraduate students. The Centre has fostered a culture of support and camaraderie, transcending academic boundaries to nurture holistic development. Countless hearts and minds have been enriched through the wisdom imparted by these student mentors, forging lifelong bonds and inspiring dreams anew.

On the Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), Professor Na’Allah revolutionized the programme, improving the SIWES experience for students and changing the narrative of the struggling old SIWES unit when he took over. Not less than three awards have been received for the Centre’s sterling contributions to SIWES under his tenure. Today, the SIWES Centre is up-to-date in its operations and administration, thanks to his effective leadership and outstanding support of Na’Allah’s distinguishedleadership.
Several milestone achievements have been recorded during his tenure. A few of these include:

• Creation of the Graduate Trainee Scheme which enables retention of outstanding graduating student workers by the university for youth service thus providing a seamless transition into professional roles nationally and internationally.

• Student Employment Scheme Policy statement that enhances all university partners to engage students covering 5 to 10% of their work force as part of their corporate social responsibility as well as other versions of the Scheme

• Not less than ten student workers, have benefitted from the Undergraduate Research grants. Two teams from the Centre won the prestigious Wageningen University grant for Food System Challenge.

• Involvement in Key University Activities: Student workers played significant roles in supporting various university Centres, Units, Departments, etc.

• Enhanced Capacity Building: The SES project team developed innovative tools, such as the SIWES Animation Teacher (SWAT 1.0 and 2.0), the first of its kind in any Nigerian university, the CSSME communication App in the google play store, several digital channels to enhance productive and creative engagement of students participating in the Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme, Student Employment and Mentoring Schemes.

• The first ever University of Abuja SIWES handbook and optimized logbook was developed in his tenure as Vice Chancellor.

• Not less than 30 student workers graduated with First Class honours from the 25th to 28th convocation ceremonies.

As we bid farewell to our beloved Vice Chancellor, we do so with hearts full of gratitude, admiration and well wishes for his greater elevation in bigger places. Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah’s vision, compassion, and unwavering dedication to student welfare have left an indelible imprint on students collective consciousness. Though he may move on from our midst, his legacy will endure; he is a beacon of hope and inspiration for generations to come. We extend our heartfelt thanks and best wishes to Professor Na’Allah as he embarks on new adventures. May the same spirit of innovation, compassion, and excellence that defined his tenure continue to guide him on his journey. Farewell, dear Vice Chancellor, and may the world be forever enriched by your boundless passion and vision. May you be richly blessed for your kind heart and unwavering determination to raise a generation of trailblazing youths. Indeed Professor Na’Allah, is a bedrock of youth development and empowerment.

Dr Ogunlade-Anibasa, Grace Oyiza

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