Mr. Mohammed Ahmed, 46, was one of the recipients of the outstanding staff awards that were given to ten exceptionally hard-working staff of the American University Nigeria, AUN, on the occasion of the institution's tenth Founder's Day ceremony.
However, Mr. Ahmed's road to the award was a long one, for when he completed his secondary education, many years before AUN was established, he didn't dream of working in a university. He was sure that he would not further his education, so he made up his mind to start a petty trade. He would, however, end up doing a blue-collar job. But not satisfied with what he was earning, Ahmed quit the work and went to work with Sabo Line Transport. He would go on do other jobs, including working as a photocopier operator, in order to make money with which to take care of his wife and children.
It was after working as a photocopier operator in Jimeta that Ahmed started working with the AUN Implementation Committee, photocopying invitation cards and sending to the then AUN Board members each time they were to have a meeting. Ahmed also helped to bind the documents of the Implementation Committee after their meetings.
Ahmed, who now has six children, went from working with the AUN Implementation Committee to working with ABTI Group and eventually joining AUN as a cleaner at the inception of the University in 2004.
By dint of hard work, determination and uncommon dedication to his duties, Ahmed later became an Office Assistant in the School of Arts and Sciences, SAS, where he has continued to go about his daily activities with infectious cheer and satisfaction, often to the admiration of his co-workers and his bosses.
It is little wonder, then, that AUN honoured Ahmed with its Outstanding Staff Award on Saturday, November 14, his citation reading: "Mr. Ahmed started work with AUN during the Implementation Committee in June 2004. He has since that time excelled in his job responsibilities. He is very reliable, hardworking, and dedicated. Having served AUN for more than ten (10) years, Mr. Ahmed has equally developed himself in order to meet and promote the workforce diversity in the University. Starting as a cleaner, he rose to the status of Office Assistant supporting faculty members in the School of Arts and Sciences where he is a model of good cheer and integrity."
A visibly elated Ahmed spoke about his award to the CMD website: "I thank God for giving me the patience to work to this point, and this award means the world to me,”he said.
He said that he hoped to receive more awards as that would encourage him to keep on working hard, and added: "I will never forget AUN in my life because AUN has made me to be a better person."
By Mariam Sadiq & Ikechukwu Ilomuanya