Vice Chancellor

Prof Abdullahi Bala

Vice Chancellor


Professor Abdullahi Bala hails from Suleja in Niger State, Nigeria. He had his early education in Nigeria and holds a Bachelor of Agriculture degree (First Class Hons.) from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. He went for his postgraduate education in the United Kingdom, obtaining an M.Sc degree in Soil Chemistry and Fertility from the University of Reading in 1993 and a Ph.D degree in Soil Microbiology from the University of London in 1999, both supported by scholarships from the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Appointed as the Pioneer Vice-Chancellor of Phoenix University Agwada on 17th October, 2023, Professor Abdullahi Bala comes on board with varied experience in community development, public policy, international research and higher education management.

Prior to this appointment, he was the immediate-past Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Minna, a university he had earlier served meritoriously as a member of Faculty and at various administrative and management positions for three decades. He was at different times the Congregation Representative and member of the 8th Governing Council of FUT Minna, Head of the Department of Soil Science, Director Centre for Preliminary and Extra-mural Studies, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

As the Vice-Chancellor of FUT Minna, Prof. Bala led efforts in improving students’ access, opportunities and motivation through expanded degree affiliation programmes, institution of students’ indigent fund, prizes and scholarships and other creative steps to increase student retention. He encouraged excellence and innovation in teaching and research with local research grants more than doubled, international grants quadrupled, and registered patents increased eight-fold. New focus and energy were brought to bear in the deployment of technology in processing both academic and administrative matters and the promotion of certain aspects of University Culture such as the prompt processing and issuance of students’ certificates and transcripts and the presentation of Inaugural Lectures. Under his leadership, the University introduced ten new undergraduate and fifteen postgraduate programmes and secured full accreditation for existing programmes. The University consistently ranked among the top ten Universities in Nigeria and top one hundred in Africa. He successfully led the University through one of its most difficult periods during the COVID-19 pandemic, effectively working on safeguarding community health and guiding research efforts at mitigating the effect of the pandemic.

During President Olusegun Obasanjo’s second tenure, between 2004 and 2007, Professor Bala was an Associate Policy Analyst with the Independent Policy Group, a think tank of the President funded by Africare International, a non-profit development organization, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Nigeria Country Office. In this capacity, Professor Bala worked extensively on contemporary policy issues especially on reforms to improve efficiency and productivity and promote value addition along the Agricultural Value Chain.

He also worked as an internationally recruited scientist (IRS) for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ibadan between 2010 and 2012, and served as the West African Coordinator of N2Africa, a research for development project where he worked with thousands of smallholder farmers and national agricultural research and extension staff across eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Professor Bala is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of Nigeria and the Nigeria Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the immediate past Chairman of the Association of West African Universities (AWAU). He has served as member of several public and private Boards of Governors and is currently the Deputy Chair Board of Directors of Diamond Development Organisation (DDI), Chair of the Board of Glowing Minds Initiatives for Human Development and Co-Chair of the Board of the International Centre for Emerging Technologies. He is a recipient of several awards and recognitions and holds the traditional titles of Walin Zazzau Suleja and Jagaban Ilimin Bosso.