Kaduna State government in partnership with Kuhne Foundation has successfully graduated the first set of sponsored students with an MSc degree in Global Logistics and Supply Chain Operations from the Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom.
The graduation ceremony event which was held on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, at the Kano room Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, 1 Aguiyi Ironsi St, Maitama, Abuja, the Nigerian Federal Capital Territory, was graced by who is who in academic, business and governance within and outside Nigeria.
The core objective of the collaboration was to quickly develop the first set of faculty members (lecturers and researchers) of the Kaduna State University (KASU) that will establish the first of its kind in Nigeria, Country Education Director, Logistics Education – Emerging & Developing Countries (LEED-programme), Akut Stephen remarked during the graduation ceremony of the 17 graduands.
Global Logistics and Supply Chain Operations is not taught in any Nigerian university even when it is a known fact that one of the key problems Nigeria is faced with is that of logistics chain, which was why the government of Kaduna state smartly key into the programme through distance its distance learning option to emerge the first with expertise in this field.
Congratulating the graduands who were drawn from KASU and Kaduna State Health Supply Management Agency, the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, who was represented at the ceremony by his Senior Special Assistant on Inter-governmental Relations, Hannatu Dalhat said, the state government understood the fact that “if you want to change, you need qualified staff”, hence the investment on the capacity building of its staff.
“We congratulate you as first personnel to benefit from this collaboration. We also thank Kuhne Foundation, the teachers and Heriot-Watt for your efforts. As you graduated today, the state, the country and Africa are looking up to how you will transform your newly acquired skills to problem solving action”, he said.
Director of Learning and Teaching Director, MSc Global Logistics and Supply Chain Operations, Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom, Dr Christen Rutherford, who joined virtually, described the investments by Kuhne Foundation and Kaduna State government as “seeds that need to grow and spread across the country and Africa”, urging graduands to turn their knowledge into action because “it is a unique programme” capable of solving logistics problem in the country and beyond.
Earlier in an address, Director, Logistics Education – Emerging & Developing Countries (LEED- programme), Kuhne Foundation, Dr Andre Kreie said, “it is a wise investment that will benefit the people of Kaduna State because it will improve their daily operations thereby making them more productive and efficient in solving logistics problems. So, KASU can begin to look inward because we now have teachers in this area”.
Kreie further clarified that the LEED-Program was different and special because logistics and supply chain management has come more and more to the forefront of decision makers in developing and emerging countries.
“This approach will enable poor countries to become independent from the international economy and become more resilient and prepared to confront future setbacks. Capacity building in higher education might have a medium to long-term impact, but it is the only approach to turn the current foreign resource dependency into local and domestic knowledge sourcing for overall sustainable economic development’, he noted.
Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Health Supply Management Agency, Pharmacist Aisha Tukur Ishaku noted that the qualification comes handy, just as she appealed to Kuhne Foundation to extend the gesture up to PhD level.
Breaking down what this development meant to Kaduna and Nigeria as a whole, Vice-Chancellor, KASU, Prof Muhammed Tanko, said ‘’For example, we have prices of things going up because we don’t have a proper supply chain. With these people, we will now be able to do that precisely and efficiently.
“This training would have cost us so much if we were to send 17 people to the UK for three years but through distance learning, we have been able to achieve that.
“The University anywhere in the world are set up to solve problems. So, if KASU is opportune to train its staff on how to solve identified problems which, in this case, is the logistics chain, it is a plus for us. We are happy we are pioneering the training of personnel from where others will now be trained” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the graduates, Mercy Ibrahim Boyis, assured the Kaduna state government and Kuhne Foundation that the resources and knowledge expended on them would not be in vain as they will immediately replicate the knowledge to other states.
SOLA OJO sent in this report.