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Governing Council Approves the Appointment of Prof. Sadiq Zubairu Abubakar as Vice Chancellor

Education and Qualification


Abubakar Sadiq was born on 24th April, 1962, an indigene of Kano State, and a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he obtained his first, second and third degrees. He obtained Post Graduate Diplomas in International Institute for Soils & Water Management, Agric Research Organization (ARO), Tel-aviv, Israel; International Centre for Tropical Agricultural and Development (CIRAD), Montpellier, France; and Institute for Agric Development, Tsukuba and Tokyo International Centers, Japan, MANAGE Institute, Hyderabad in India, AFRACA in Kenya, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA, respectively. He attended several local and international professional short courses in various countries relevant to his triple responsibilities of teaching & student supervision, conduct of basic & applied research and packaging & promotion of relevant innovations to targeted end users.

Working Experience

Abubakar joined the service of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1988 as assistant lecturer and extension specialist and posted to NAERLS. He was attached to Institute for Agricultural Research and Department of Agric & Bio-resource Engineering, respectively. He was appointed to professorial rank in Agricultural & Bio-resource Engineering in 2005 academic session. He has been involved in the conduct of applied research, promotion of improved technologies and practices, development/production of extension support materials, provision of support services, capacity building of diverse clients including field extension staff and managers, farmers, etc nationwide. He has committed himself to teaching and supervision of both undergraduates and postgraduate students not only in ABU Zaria but also in Bayero University Kano, University of Ilorin, ATBU, University of Uyo, University of Maiduguri, Kaduna Polytechnic, etc. He was a visiting lecturer at CIRAD for research in irrigation farming system and in CEMAGREF for teaching and training in hydraulics and irrigation system simulation both in Montpellier, France; He led several FAO, WB and French Embassy missions to develop policy and strategic documents on Irrigation and Drainage for Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia and West African Sub region. Appointed as member of TETFUND Standing Committee on Research and Development (R & D). The Committee TOR include interfacing with public tertiary institutions and the industry on R &D as well as offering advice to government on how to build, diversify and sustain a knowledge-based economy for Nigeria. Member of Ministerial Advisory Committee to the current Hon. Minister of Agriculture, Federal Ministry of Agric and Rural Development (FMARD). Member of Ministerial Committee on the repositioning of Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) of FMARD in line with the best global practices and in harmony of performance management process (PMP)

Administrative Experience

Professor Abubakar administrative experience include serving as HOD of Agric & Bio-resource Department and of Agric Engineering & Irrigation Research Program in NAERLS (1996-2000); Officer-in-Charge of Agric. Extension Service Delivery for North-West Agro-Ecological Zone (2000-2004); Deputy Director of NAERLS (2004-2008), Executive Director of NAERLS (2008-2012) responsibility to the Hon. Minister of Agriculture on agricultural extension service delivery for the whole nation.  He chaired and served on many committees at University, Institute and Departmental levels. He represented Congregation in the ABU, Zaria Senate (1999-2003) and served as a member of Governing Boards of IAR, NAPRI, DAC and NAERLS (2008-2012). He was Chairman of Agric & Vet Complex (2010-2012) comprising of Faculties of Agric, Vet Medicine, IAR, NAPRI, NAERLS, Vet Teaching Hospital and 3 Colleges of Agriculture of Kaduna, Samaru and Kabba. He saved as a member of ABU Governing Council (2009-2014) where he chaired and served in a number of committees including Senior Staff Appointment & Promotion, ICT & Computing Service; Investigation Panels and Ad-hoc Committees on Financial Control, University Budget Performance, etc. He was a member of ABU Strategic Planning, Review & Monitoring and Physical Planning & Development Committees. He was appointed as the team leader on Agribusiness in ARDP, an NGO engaging the Northwestern States on promoting Economic Development Agenda (2012-Date). Elected as Dean of Faculty of Engineering, ABU, Zaria (March 2014). He was appointed the pioneer Vice Chancellor of Alvan Ikoku University of Education, Owerri (May – November 2015). He was appointed as Chairman and led the Committee that developed the strategic plan of the newly established Federal University, Gusau (2016-12017). He was appointed as the Dean of School of Postgraduate Studies in ABU, Zaria (Feb, 2017-June 2019). Professor Abubakar was appointed as the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration) of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria on 19th June 2019 and handed over the office on 02nd August 2021 after successful completion of his tenure.   

Academic Duties, Mentoring and Outputs


He supervised and mentored several postgraduate and undergraduate students both internally and externally: PhD theses, MSc dissertations and Bachelor of Engineering final projects. He had assessed 6 candidates for professorial positions in Agricultural and Bio-Resource Engineering. Most of the students produced high quality publications from the research projects supervised and published in highly rated journals. Engr. Professor Abubakar have to his credit as output of his 31 years of academic career 194 publications including 29 journals, 2 edited book, 7 book chapters, 23 edited proceedings, 33 conference papers, 12 extension bulletins, 6 extension guides, 37 training workshop papers, 20 research reports, 16 technical reports, 9 edited training manuals. He has produced more than 45 radio, 20 TV programmes, 10 video documentaries and 12 slides shows on various aspects of agriculture in English and local languages which were aired/televised in both public and private stations across the country.

Project/Programs Implementation


Professor Abubakar led and participated in developing several research/development projects grants which were won and successfully implemented using the platform of ABU, Zaria. To date, Abubakar was involved in more than 21 projects sponsored by development partners like FAO, WB, ATI, IFAD, USAID, DFID, French Embassy in Nigeria, other donors, multi and bi-lateral collaborations, Government interventions covering areas like irrigated agriculture, irrigation system management, water supply and sanitation, water lifting devices, labour saving devices, agric mechanization, ground water pollution and land use, dry agriculture, water harvesting, irrigated soil management, agribusinesses and agric value chain development and agric value chain financing, etc. 

Within ABU, during his tenure ad Director, NAERLS (2008-2012) he conceived and established NAERLS Suites and Conference Centre a facility that serve the university great value in terms of accommodation and conference events.  

He remodeled and rebranded School of Postgraduate Studies both physically and operationally during his tenure as Dean of SPGS (Feb 2017-June 2019). The introduction of flexible payment and student registration, student call-help center and as well as student research logbook and plagiarism check, etc. A new website was also developed for the school and put into use as well as database with servers that support ICT-Learning environment. Student call/help center was established which completely transformed the mode of engagement with the over 45000 PG student population in the university. 

During his tenure as DVC, Professor Abubakar led a task force established to plan the migration of ABU to a Postgraduate University where emphasis would place on PG studies and research to address current societal challenges with a trajectory of moving to a research-based and mentor university catering for the younger and new universities and polytechnics in the long. He was the Board Chairman of ABU Printing Press Ltd, ABU Demonstration Secondary School, ABU Land Dispute, Board of Directors ABU Hotels Ltd, Board of Directors ABU Medical Centre. He also served as Chairman ABU Dress Code Committee.   

Professor Abubakar also chaired a committee on e-learning that aimed to deepen and expand the already introduced blending learning where SCL and OBE/PBL methods and techniques would be deployed. The Committee was charged to establish ODL resources where Content Delivery Networks (CDN) would be installed so that students can access these contents relatively cheaply or at no cost via mobile telecom networks. The establishment of Open Educational Resource (OER) leveraging on MOOCs is imperative. Additional targets of the Committee were the deployment of Learning Management Systems (LMS), School Management Systems (SMS), Cloud Computing (CC), Mobile Learning or M-Learning (ML), with the ultimate goal of establishing Virtual and Remote Laboratories (VRL) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a careful and phased manner to allow ABU provide the leadership required in blended teaching and learning where friendly ICT-based learners and tutors co-exist.

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Professional Bodies Activities


Professor Abubakar is an active member and fellow of many professional bodies, among which are American Society of Agric & Bio-Res Engineers (ASABE), International Committee on Irrigation & Drainage (ICID) Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Nigerian Institution of Agric Engineers (NIAE), International Soil Tillage Research Organization (ISTRO), Agricultural Extension Society of Nigeria (AESON), etc. He is a registered and practicing Engineer with Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria (COREN). He was the National Chairman of Nig. Inst. of Agric Engineers (NIAE) between 2008 and 2012 and was a member the National Executive Committee of NIAE. He served NSE in various capacities for over 2 decades including member and chairman of several Boards and Committees. He is the current Editor-in-Chief of Technical Transactions and Journal of Nig. Society of Engineers (NSE) under whose leadership the journal was transformed to an online publication and won TETFUND Sponsorship, where he converted the journal to an online publication at He served as Chairman of the technical committee for NSE annual conference (2012-Date). He represented NSE at the development of National Integrated Infrastructural Master Plan (NIIMP): Strategies for Implementation in 2015. He was recently appointed as a member of COREN Council and Chairman of Education and Training (E&T) Standing Committee of the Council. He is appointed as a member of the recently established Engineering Accreditation Board (EAB) of Nigeria under the supervision of COREN which promote the mobility of Nigerian Engineers to work in all Washington Award signatory countries.

Community Services

Professor Abubakar is the Chairman of Board of Trustees, COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT INITIATIVE (COMEIN) founded in 1998 to date, an NGO based in Kano involve in rural development in the areas of agriculture, irrigation management, rural water supply, and strengthening of community-based organizations. He is member of the board of Directors of WOMEN GENDER DEVELOPERS (WOGEND), an NGO based in Kano involve in the rehabilitation of child-girl abuse/trafficking and reintegration into the immediate society with a sustainable means of livelihood. Member of several community based organizations and self-help groups, religious organizations, community schools, etc in the Zaria, Kaduna and Kano, respectively. He is a member of the Board of ITN Vocational and Technical School in Z/Shanu, Zaria.

Grant attracted for Research & Development and Physical Projects

Professor Abubakar participated in securing several research-based, development-based and promotion-based collaboration projects sponsored by multi-lateral, bi-lateral, donors like WB, FAO, IFAD, WAPP, etc, which were successfully implemented in different part of the country. The nature of the projects covers diverse fields of agricultural development, water resources and environmental management, economic and social development, youth empowerment and capacity development of institutions, etc. He also led in the establishment of several strategic physical structures within ABU main campus during his tenure as Executive Director of NAERLS. The NAERLS SUITES AND CONFERENCE CENTRE, the printing press, the cafeteria complex. He restructured the operations of School of Postgraduate Studies (SPGS) and remodeled the physical facilities placing ICT on the front burner leading the e-learning revolution in ABU. Professor Abubakar consolidated the existing capacity building programme of young academics between ABU and Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL) based in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA. As a result of his effort ABU was selected to lead an MIT Africa Initiative working in about 27 African countries with an advisory committee charged to develop a 5 year strategic plan.


Professor Abubakar is proficient in ICT with the following skills:

  1. Microsoft Words, Excel, Access, SPSS, Powerpoint Programmes,
  2. GIS Applications,
  3. Autocard,
  4. Audio and Video programme editing software,
  6. On-line e-payment soft wares.

Outreach Activities

Professor Abubakar maintained a personal website at where all research outputs and scholarly materials such as papers, lectures, books, presentations, monographs, etc are hoisted and shared on request.


Professor Abubakar main interest is to improve the living standard of rural people through sustained provision of knowledge, skill development and economic empowerment for effective participation in our national life. Assist them to over-come weaknesses that usually limit their capacities and capabilities; in order to attain their potentials, explore new opportunities and have full access to resources and information.  I am very fun of world history, culture, economy and politics at all levels. He is happily married with children.

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