By; AUWAL AHMED IBRAHIM GORONYO
An African proverb says all men are equal but not all men are equal to the task of competence, another one says, good work never hides it self, because it emanates like smoke, and, I so much cherish the Hausa proverb that says, the palm cannot hide the sunshine because, that is how Professor Idris Muhammad Bugaje is; he doesn’t want praises but his good works demand it for him and it is what necessitated me to write about him.
To attest to the truth, the appointment of professor M. Bugaje as the Secretary General of the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE by President Muhammadu Buhari is the most important because it is an appointment for Nigerians and the future of the country; for education guides the body and mind.
The recommendation of the Minister for Education, Malam Adamu Adamu on the appointment of Professor Bugaje to chair the NBTE is a well thought base on versatile experience and confidence on the man for the job.
Appointing Professor Idris Bugaje to man the NBTE, is the right thing at this time of dire need to get out of the woods in this time of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics’ (ASUP) strike. I am sure that ASUP strike will soon fade away as NBTE will settle many grudges of the union and gives it the special treatment it deserved in moving Polytechnics’ education forward in the country.
The Technical and vocational education and training TVET institutions under the umbrella of NBTE comprises Polytechnics, Monotechnics, Innovation Enterprise Institutions, Vocational Enterprise Institutions and Technical Colleges need an experienced person to set a desirable goals for education in the affairs of providing the best system of teaching and entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
The NBTE like many other institutions headed by Professor Bugaje is ill in its responsibilities, shrinking in coma and slow in meeting the demands of excellent education and skills as the Board yearn for a patriotic and industrious pillar, I am sure the sad days have come to pass as the right pilot will surf it affairs to the promised land.
The appointment of Professor Bugaje as the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE is a succor to Nigeria educational problems being him a man of worthy and unquestionable character that is up and doing in tackling administrative faults.
Everything starts with knowledge in the making of a prosperous country. In fact, education is the basic of our lives and development and we nurture our progress on the root of knowledge and when it suffers, the people suffer.
For many years, the Nigerian students are on the wrong track of salvaging the nation. Nigerians pursue certificates than the knowledge. They want at any cost and time to finish their studies and have certificates to hunt for white collar jobs. This means, we don’t patronize knowledge but papers. This patronage diminishes our vision, progress and draws us backward to a stagnating point but the book ‘Skills not Degrees: The Solution to Nigeria’s Unemployment Problem’ by Professor Bugaje has truncated the dependency of Polytechnic graduates on white collar jobs as entrepreneurs.
Professor Idris Bugaje, as the NBTE Executive Secretary, will be at the centre to solve educational predicaments in Nigerian Polytechnics, enterprises, Colleges of Education using his vast intellectual experiences of many years.
Professor Bugaje, believed in practical knowledge combined with certificate, he wants Nigeria to be like China, where students prioritize entrepreneurship and skills than certificates. Bugaje wants to create a model where polytechnics students will be the creators of science and our technological blueprints. He wants to overhaul and enhance the educational curricula to suit our modernity and teaching system, and he was given the chance.
Another mission of Professor Idris Bugaje is; to initiate a pipeline of transporting ideas and knowledge to the outside world because he looks at, polytechnic students as the engine of lucrative economy and the producers of wealth that can turn Nigerian industries to gold and solve the unemployment predicament in the country.
In the passion of Professor M. Bugaje to reduce the high number of unemployed youths in the country, through the Corporate Social Responsibly (CSR) he launched a programme in Kaduna Polytechnic headed by the Centre of Technology to train Out-of-School youths around the country. In this effort, thousands of youths were targeted to benefit from the programme while more than 100 youths were trained and assisted with trade starter kits in welding, carpentry, plumbing and building.
Kaduna Polytechnic also collaborated with Panteka market and trained 40 artisans to assessors adding the number of assessors in the country to an upgrade for entrepreneurship advancement.
On the 15th of March in the year 2021 Kaduna Polytechnic lunched a TVET programme to train 100 artisans of Panteka traders in the effort to neutralize their informal training. At the programme, the governor of Kaduna state, Malam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai declared Panteka Market a UNESCO Heritage Site. Panteka market has existed for over 50 years in the practice of informal trades with 40 entrepreneurship trades and incorporating the traders for formal training will open new doors of opportunities and growth for the country.
Waxing the scopes of Polytechnic education programmes is the aspiration of Buhari’s government for the giant African country to rely on its potentials. In this regard, Professor Bugaje as the Rector of Kaduna Polytechnic, introduced, the first ever, Railway Engineering course into the country to commence in Kaduna Polytechnic with the intention to replace the expatriates with the indigenous Nigerians in the railway piloting and engineering. Meanwhile, the first, Gas Engineering will commence in the Northern region of the country in Kaduna Polytechnic. However, Kaduna Polytechnic introduced Nurse Courses Programmes to incorporated the 2050 Sustainable Development Goals in respect to Maternal Mortality and the UNICEF missions. With these versatile knowledge and foresight of Professor Bugaje TVET education will set a prosperous line for TVET institutions.
Skill is the new white color job of the 21st Century and not only students of formal schools need skills but also the informal sector as skill is the panacea to Nigeria dilemma and the new currency of employment in the global business relations.
Idris Bugaje as a technocrat had worked from grass to grace and attained the rank of Professor in the year 2006. Bugaje worked as a lecturer in Kaduna Polytechnic, Senior Lecturer in University of Maiduguri UNIMAID and held Deanship position of his Faculty, Taught in Ahmadu Bello University ABU headed his department and the Deanship position of the Faculty. Served as the Chief Executive Officer at the National ResearchInstitute for Chemical Technology, Zaria and Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa.Bugaje worked in the diaspora in London, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia all in leadership and teaching.
While, I commended the Federal Government of Nigeria on this choice, I congratulate Professor Idris Muhammad Bugaje on his newly deserving appointment to head the NBTE.
Auwal Ahmed Ibrahim Goronyo writes from Kaduna, he can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org