UNILAG Graduates 12,811, as 271 Bags First Class

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Funmi Ogundare

It was celebration all the way recently at the University of Lagos, as a total of 271 graduands bagged first class degrees with 56 from the faculty of Engineering,

Out of this number, three of them emerged the best graduating students with Cumulative Grade Point Average (CPGA) of 4.96 for the 2017/2018 academic session.

They are Miss Ogechi Ekeh, Faculty of Pharmacy; Oluwaseyi Adeyeye, Department of Insurance; and Daniel Ogbechi, Department of Business Administration.

They were part of the 12,811 graduands that received their degrees, diplomas and certificates at this year’s 50th convocation ceremony of the institution. Of the number, 7,406 bagged first degrees or diplomas, while 5,405 received postgraduate degrees.

At the postgraduate category, a total of 150 graduands were awarded Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees, 4,771 masters degrees and 484 postgraduate diplomas.

The overall best PhD Thesis in Science was awarded to Oluwaseyi Ajibade of the Department of Metallurgical and Material Engineering, while Olumide Oyebade of the Department of Philosophy was awarded the best PhD thesis in Humanities.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who congratulated the graduating students for braving the odds to complete their programmes and join the alumni community, highlighted some of the achievements of the institution in the past one year under his administration.

“The university under my watch has pursued an uncompromising academic standard, local and global networks; innovative fund raising mechanisms; transformational and transnational leadership; and accountability in all university processes.”

With the understanding that research is one of the core obligations of a university, he said since government cannot singlehandedly fund research, the institution has in the past one year, having raising about the need for faculty members to apply and attract more research grants to the university, especially through multi-disciplinary research.

“We have equally strengthened our research centres and given them the mandate to pursue researches that can attract grants from multi-national corporations and government agencies. To further advance research in the university, our centre research laboratory has been better equipped through donation of a polyurethane laboratory worth over N20 million by Vitafoam Nigeria PLC,” Ogundipe said.

On the institution’s collaboration with industries, government agencies, international organisations and foreign governments and institutions, he said in the past one year, it has expanded the mandate of the entrepreneurship and skills development centre to engage in critical activities to promote entrepreneurship training for staff and students.

In his convocation lecture titled ‘Nigeria Rising: The Path to Posterity’, the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo said the country will attain prosperity if it can address the issues of extreme poverty, productivity, corruption, the rule of law and the deficiencies in the quality of human resources caused by poor education and healthcare.

As a way of maximizing the potential of the abundant human resources in the country, Osinbajo who had earlier inaugurated some projects in the institution, stressed the need for the country to have a robust healthcare system that will ensure that the average person is in good health; an education system that guarantees education capable of preparing children for the opportunities and challenges of a knowledge economy; a thriving private sector-led economy supported by a business-friendly environment.

“There has to be a system of wealth creation options and safety nets capable of taking millions out of poverty and providing for those who cannot work. The wealth creation options must include access to cheap credit for small holder farmers, traders and artisans. The safety nets include government created job schemes for the unemployed and cash transfers for the poorest and most vulnerable,” he said.

In his remarks titled ‘Academics Must Return to the Academia’ the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the institution, Mr. Wale Babalakin, who listed academics that have made impact in their respective fields, said only academics should find their way into the institutions.

“They are positioned to display variety and show that their knowledge base is wide. We must create an environment that will attract the best scholars and put an end to those who come here because they have no other option. It is a citadel of learning and we must achieve our objectives,” he said.

The four-day programme also featured the conferment of honorary awards on some prominent Nigerians.