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 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.
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 North Western States on promoting Economic Development Agenda (2012-Date). 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.
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.
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.
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 www.nsetransactions.org. 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 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 .
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.