Atiku Laments His Profitless 19-Year-Old Private University

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Nigeria’s former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has expressed dissatisfaction with the management of his American University of Nigeria (AUN) that he founded 19 years ago.

Aerial view of the American University of Nigeria

He regretted the institution was yet to stand on its own feet financially.

In a paper delivered at the AUN as part of activities marking this year’s celebration of the institution’s Founders Day, Atiku revealed his frustrations with the management of the university saying, his motive for establishing the university was not to gain political office but to give back to a society that had given him so much.

Located in Yola, the state capital of Adamawa, the university was founded in 2003 by a former Vice President of Nigeria and People’s Democratic Party Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

It enrolled its first students in 2005 under its original name the ABTI American University of Nigeria before it was renamed to AUN.

Atiku, speaking in his paper entitled, “AUN in the Age of Socio-Economic Crisis and Emerging Disruptive Technologies,” said: “You cannot realise the vision of a still small and young institution without focus, without being organized, without patience, without attention to detail, without persistence, and the desire to overcome obstacles in your way. And you cannot realise that vision with reckless management of resources, arbitrariness in decision making, and unfairness and inequity in the treatment of faculty, staff, and students. As a result, continuity and fidelity to rules and procedures haven’t always been maintained in the attempts at realizing the founding vision and pursuit of the university’s goals. There is, therefore, an urgent need to return to basics, to the original vision.”

“After 19 years, AUN ought to be able to stand on its feet. I have neither asked for nor received a kobo from you since inception and have no plans to do so in the future. All the investments that my friends and I have made and continue to make here are intended to see the university grow and serve humanity.

“AUN is a not-for-profit institution. However, that does not mean that you should not generate surpluses. You should be self-sustaining and generate surpluses to be plowed back into the development of the institution to serve a greater number of people – students, employees, and the wider community.

“Unfortunately, as I have been told, some see AUN the way some Nigerians see public institutions – as a place they take from but not to put in. Well, that’s a mistake.”

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