The Gombe State University has said it would confer a honorary doctorate on Abdulhadi Usman, a self-taught engineer known for inventing a radio transmitter, a Vespa-engine helicopter and a telephone (handset) as far back as the 1970s.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Aliyu El-Nafaty, stated this at a press conference on Thursday ahead of the institution’s combined convocation ceremony scheduled for October10-13, for the award of first and postgraduate degrees and prizes.
Mr El-Nafaty, a professor, described Mr Usman as a unique innovator who trained himself to manufacture electronic and electrical appliances addressing the challenges people face in their energy needs.
“Hadi Usman, recently invented cooking stoves that use water and generating plants that generate energy up to 7.5 kva without the use of any fuel…,” the vice-chancellor said
Our correspondent reports that Mr Usman, 70, never attended any formal education. He only attended Tsangaya (Koranic) school were he memorised the Holy Qur’an at the age of 12. Mr Usman is said to have, in 1970, established a radio station in Gombe using equipment he manufactured. He is also said to have used Vespa engine to fabricate a helicopter.
Mr El-Nafaty said the university would therefore be awarding him an honorary doctorate degree at the convocation to honour his engineering ingenuity.
According to the vice-chancellor, other individuals to be conferred with honorary doctorate degrees at the ceremony are Vice President Kashim Shettima; Idris Mohammed, a renowned professor of Infectious disease; Boss Mustapha, a former secretary to the government of the federation,; Zainab Ahmed, a former minister of finance and Kashim Imam, a former member, Board of Trustees of TETFund and Timothy Shelpidi (late), who was commander of the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) in Liberia.
Mr El-Nafaty also announced that 116 of the 5,944 graduating students of the university, passed out with First Class honours.
He said 28 had distinction from the non-classified degrees (professional), 1,511 got second class upper and 3,326 second class lower while 801 earned third class degrees. Another 162 graduated with pass degrees.
He said out of the number, 40 per cent were female, an increase from 30 per cent in the last three years. “This is because we minimised the disparity between male and female students.
“We understand the challenge of Girl-child education in the North East region of the country and that the rapid socio-economic development of a nation is linked to the standard of women and their level of education”.
Mr Elnafaty said Gombe State University had experienced rapid development and grown in quality and size, adding that “we have 40 undergraduate and 68 postgraduate programmes, all of which had full accreditation by the National Universities Commission and other relevant bodies”.