Professor Ahmad Maigari, the Vice Chancellor of Northwest University, addressed the 63rd Annual National Conference of the Association of Nigerian Geographers (ANG) as the Chair. The conference, hosted by Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, marks the first time the college has hosted the academic conference of this Association in its 53 years of existence.
In his address, Professor Maigari congratulated the host college and Sokoto State for achieving this milestone. He highlighted the importance of exchanging ideas, knowledge, and collaborations among the participants and critical stakeholders at the conference. The main theme of the conference, “Geography: A Pillar of Development,” is expected to generate new discourse, ideas, and innovations for the development of the country.
Professor P.A.O Odjugo, the National President of the Association, emphasized the need for stakeholders to rescue the field of Geography from its current state of decline. Factors such as government educational policy and misconceptions about the subject were identified as contributing to low enrollment rates. Odjugo called on the government to increase the employment of Geography tutors, revise the education curriculum, and provide adequate funding to revive the glory of Geography in the country.
The keynote speaker, Professor M.A Iliya from Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto, lamented the misconceptions surrounding Geography, stating that the course offers endless opportunities beyond teaching. He emphasized that Geography is relevant in almost every field of education.
Similarly, representing the Executive Governor of Sokoto State, Alh Dr Ahamd Aliyu FCNA, the honorable commissioner for higher education expressed the administration’s commitment to fostering growth and development in Geography, education, and all aspects of life. This commitment aligns with the governor’s vision for sustainable growth and development by 2030.
More so, His Eminence Sultan of Sokoto Alh Sa’ad Abubakar III, represented by Sarkin Yakin Gagi, urged the council to take action on the resolutions made during the conference for effective transformation.
Dr Umar Tambari, the Provost of Shehu Shagari College of Education, expressed gratitude for the association’s decision to hold the conference at his institution. He acknowledged the challenges facing the Nigerian educational system and his college, particularly in terms of funding. However, he expressed optimism and acknowledged the support of the government at all levels.
Professor Ahmad Maigari, the Chair of the conference, thanked the National Council of the Association for selecting him to chair the event. He pledged his commitment to the transformation of Geography in Sokoto and Nigeria.
Muhammad Mansur Aliyu, the Head of the Geography Department and Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, expressed gratitude to all attendees and emphasized the promising nature of the conference.
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