Ahmadu Bello University began with the faculties of Agriculture, Engineering, Law and Sciences, fifteen academic departments and 426 students.
The University covers a land area of about 7,000 hectares and encompasses two campuses, twelve Faculties, a Postgraduate School and 82 academic departments. It also has five Institutes, six Specialized Centers, a Division of Agricultural Colleges, a School of Basic and Remedial Studies, a Demonstration Secondary School, a Primary School and a Consultancy Outfit which provides a variety of services to the University and the wider society.
The University has about 1,400 academic and research staff and over 6000 non-teaching, senior and junior administrative staff. The University has also nurtured two University Colleges, - the Abdullahi Bayero College (now Bayero University), Kano and the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa College (now Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University of Technology), Bauchi, while 27 institutions made up of Colleges of Education, Polytechnics and Schools of Basic or Preliminary Studies are currently affiliated to it.