Ahead of the 2013/2014 Convocation ceremonies of the University of Lagos, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rahamon A. Bello, FAEng addressed newsmen on Friday, April 24, 2015.
Below is the full text of the Vice-Chancellor’s speech at the event:
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the most preferred University – the University of First Choice and the Nation’s Pride, University of Lagos. Today’s media briefing which is principally designed to kick-start our 2013/2014 Convocation Ceremonies gives us the opportunity of a face- to- face interaction, which we expect should assist to give better insight into the activities of the University and particularly the 2013/2014 Convocation Ceremonies.
Let me start this address by congratulating all Nigerians for the recent generally smooth conduct of the 2015 general elections. Against all odds, the general elections ended on a peaceful note devoid of rancour as predicted by many political observers. The University would like to congratulate the Visitor to the University and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, for entrenching democracy in Nigeria by his exemplary show of statesmanship through conceding defeat to the President-elect, before the final declaration of the results. The University also congratulates the President-elect and incoming Visitor to the University, General Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and wish him a tenure that will meet the expectations of the teeming Nigerians in all sectors.
Let me also use this opportunity to congratulate all alumni of the University of Lagos who were successful in the last elections across the country. In particular, I specially congratulate the Vice-President-elect, Professor Yomi Osinbajo and the Governor-elect for Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode. We are proud of their achievements which are typical of graduates of the University of Lagos, the University of First Choice and the Nation’s pride.
2013/2014 Convocation Ceremonies: Gentlemen of the fourth estate of the realm, I am happy to announce through you to the world that the 2013/2014 Convocation Ceremonies will begin on Monday, April 27, 2015 with a convocation lecture entitled Taking Advantage of a Depressing Nigerian Economy to Accelerate Socio-Economic Development to be delivered by the former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Professor Peter Okebukola. The Chairman of the event which is slated for 3:00 p.m. in the Main Auditorium of the University, is foremost Entrepreneur and Petroleum Economist, Mr. Hakeem Bello-Osagie.
This year’s ceremonies is especially unique as the new Chancellor of the University will be unveiled and officially installed on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at the Congregation for Installation of the Chancellor, award of First Degree, Diplomas, Certificates and the announcement of prize winners for graduating students of Faculties of: Arts, Education, Environmental Sciences, Science and Social Sciences. This event is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in the Multipurpose Hall of the University.
On Wednesday, April 29, 2015, the Congregation for the award of First Degree, Diplomas, Certificates and the announcement of prize winners of the College of Medicine, Faculties of: Basic Medical Sciences, Dental Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, Law, Pharmacy, and Distance Learning Institute will hold at 10 a.m. in the Multipurpose Hall.
The climax of this year’s ceremonies will hold on Thursday, April 30, 2015at 10 a.m. in the Multipurpose Hall with the award of higher degrees and diplomas as well as conferment of honorary degrees and emeriti professorship of the University on six eminent Nigerians, in recognition of their immense contribution to education and quality of life in Nigeria.
Those selected for the honorary degrees are: Lt.-General (rtd)Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, GCON; Deacon Gamaliel Oforitsenere Onosode, CFR and Pastor (Dr) Enoch Adejare Adeboye while the three retired professors of this University who will receive the emeriti professorship award are: Professor Olayide Mojeed Abass, OON, Professor Francis Fajemirokun, and Professor Soga Sofola.
Other events scheduled for the Ceremonies are:
- UNILAG ALUMNI ASSOCIATION EDUTAINMENT FIESTA
Date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 Time: 5.00 p.m. Venue: Main Auditorium, UNILAG, Akoka
- Alumni Reception
Date: Wednesday, April 29, 2015 Time: 6. 00 p.m. Venue: Guest Houses, UNILAG, Akoka
- Exhibition of works across the University: Date: Monday, April 27 to Thursday, April 30, 2015
Venue: Main Auditorium Foyer and J. P. Clark Centre, Faculty of Arts, UNILAG
Statistics of Graduating Students: Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, overall in this Convocation ceremony University of Lagos will be graduating a total of Ten thousand and six hundred (10,600) students. Out of this, a total of five thousand, eight hundred and thirty-six (5,836) undergraduate students or about 55%, successfully completed their studies and will be awarded various Diplomas, Certificates and Degrees in the Distance Learning Institute, and Faculties of Arts, Business Administration, Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Dental Sciences, Education, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Law, Pharmacy, Social Sciences and Science.
In the postgraduate category, a total of four thousand, seven hundred and sixty four (4,764) students or 45% completed their studies and will be awarded various Postgraduate Diplomas and Doctor of Philosophy and Masters Degrees. Thus, the University is gradually becoming a Postgraduate University.
The breakdown of the statistics of our graduating students is as follows. For the undergraduates:
- Faculty of Arts: 518
- Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences: 83
- Faculty of Business Administration: 728
- Faculty of Clinical Sciences: 36
- Faculty of Education: 989
- Faculty of Engineering: 375
- Faculty of Environmental Sciences: 301
- Faculty of Law: 202
- Faculty of Pharmacy: 138
- Faculty of Social Sciences: 805
- Faculty of Science: 697
- Distance Learning Institute: 1,170
Out of the undergraduate category, a total of one hundred and twenty five (125) graduating students finished in the First Class Division, 1,664 in Second Class Upper Division, 2,827 in Second Class Lower Division, 963 in Third Class, 90 with Pass degrees while 167 are with Unclassified degrees in Medicine and Pharmacy.
I am proud to announce Mr. Akinpelumi, Korede of the Department of Chemical Engineering as the best graduating student of this University, with a CGPA of 4.96.The second best graduating student is Mr. Shittu, Wasiu Sesan of Department of Finance with a CGPA of 4.91.The Third best graduating students, we have (two) 2 students as follows; Mr. Ogagaoghene, Samuel Envwu of the Department of Finance with a CGPA of 4.90 and Miss Adeogun, Margaret Adedayo of Department of Microbiology with a CGPA of 4.90.
For postgraduate students in the School of Postgraduate Studies, the University will be graduating a total of 103 Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)s, while there are 4,330 with Masters degrees and 331 with postgraduate diplomas.
The Best Doctorate Student is Akpan Emmanuel Isaac, Thesis Title:-“Processing and Characterization of Selected Biodegradable fibre- PLA Composites”.
At this juncture, it is important to state that we are determined to continue our tradition of producing quality first class graduates that do compete favourably with their counterparts in any part of the world.
Recent Developments: The University of Lagos continues to witness appropriate growth and developments in all facets, particularly in infrastructure and academic leadership. Our students and staff are winning laurels, locally and internationally, depicting the academic excellence the University portrays. Our members of staff, both teaching and non-teaching, have not been left out of the shower of laurels and recognitions. Just to mention a few:
- Professor Folasade Ogunsola, 1st female Provost of the College of Medicine in Africa Professor Sunday Omilabu and Professor A.T. Onajole, all played very crucial roles in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the spread of ebola in Nigeria. They are staff of the university.
- A research project led by a Senior Lecturer of the Department of Business Administration, University of Lagos, Dr. Sunday Abayomi Adebisi won the Best Full Paper Award in Performance Management at the British Academy of Management World Conference. The project, captured in a paper titled: Public Management and Governance: Why has Asian-Dragon claimed its Title and African-Giant still Sleeping in 30-year Economic Race?, was one of the nine hundred and twelve (912) papers presented by authors drawn from over three hundred and fifty (350) universities across the world at the Conference which was held from September 9 to 11, 2014 at the University of Ulster in Belfast, United Kingdom.
To mention a few of other recent developments within our University, I am happy to report today that, ten years after the unfortunate students’ crisis which led to the proscription of the UNILAG Students Union (ULSU), we have been able to resuscitate ULSU after a new Constitution was drafted and endorsed by the students. We have with us today a new executive of ULSU led by Mr. Abiodun Martins, elected in a free, fair and peaceful election on Thursday March 26, 2015, just ahead of the Nigerian Presidential election. With this, we have the full complement of education at the University of Lagos and students can fully exhibit their leadership potentials in readiness for roles in the larger society.
The University continues to expand its horizon in the continent. It became a foundation member of the 14-member African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), which was recently launched by the Chair of African Union Commission, during the African Higher Education Summit on March 10, 2015 in Dakar Senegal. We also serve as the Coordinator for the West African sub-region. This is a testimony of our research promotional activities, results of which will soon be apparent both within the University and the nation.
The University recently produced a 25-year Strategic Plan, spanning 2012-2037. It contains all facets of the University and how they should grow or develop in tranches of five years. This will enable a coordinated growth and development for the University.
The first five year plan is currently being worked and all our activities are in tune with the Plan. The plan took into consideration the dearth of land available to the University and thus projects vertical development. Hence, all major infrastructural facilities for development have to contain foundations that can carry at least twelve floors. We currently have five such high rise facilities currently in the pipeline for construction viz: the School of Postgraduate Studies building, Faculty of Education Building, Faculty of Law building, DLI building and the new Library.
The University has been contending with serious shortages of accommodation for both its students and staff. We have a full time student population of about 35,000 while only 8,500 bedspaces are available. Efforts are being concentrated on expanding these. We are embarking on a 1,000 bedspace hostel currently but this is a far cry from the need.
Conclusion: Gentlemen of the Press, let me, on behalf of staff and students of this University, thank you sincerely for the robust support which our University has enjoyed from you, in the area of coverage and publicity.
I also want to thank you, once again, for being here today. There is no doubt that this kind of meeting will lead to better cooperation between you, gentlemen of the press and the University of Lagos. Do feel free to move around the campus to see for yourself, the state of affairs. God bless the University of Lagos. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.