UNIUYO 17th & 18th Convocation Awards 6,772 Undergraduate and 944 Post-Graduate Degrees
23 Oct 2011
The ten year old University of Uyo held a second convocation ceremony at its permanent site off Nwaniba Road to mark her 17th and 18th convocation. The event which was held at UNIUYO convocation grounds on Saturday 22nd October saw a total of 6,772 undergraduate and 944 post-graduate awards as well as conferment of honorary degrees on three deserving Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in their chosen field of endeavour and have contributed significantly to the socio-economic development of Nigeria: the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; Chairman, Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Senator Udoma Udo Udoma and the Managing Director and Country Chair, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Shell Companies of Nigeria (SCIN).
In detail the university issued undergraduate awards for first degrees, diplomas, and certificates and postgraduate awards of postgraduate diplomas, masters’ degrees, and doctorate degrees. For the 2008/2009 academic session there are total awards of 3,224 bachelor’s degrees, made up of 3 first class, 329 second class upper, 1,515 second class lower, 1,232 third class, and 145 pass degrees. While for the 2009/2010 academic session a total award of 1,776 bachelor’s degrees, made up of 5 first class, 229 second class upper, 754 second class lower, 608 third class, and 107 pass degrees were issued.
Also, affiliate institutions such as Osun State College of Education, Illa-Orangun received 1,144 bachelor’s degrees; Assemblies of God Divinity School of Nigeria received 17 bachelor’s degrees; UNIUYO School of Continuing Education received 406 bachelor’s degrees, 225 diploma certificates; and Cornerstone College of Management, Aba: 4 diploma certificates.
In declaring the convocation open, the Chancellor of the University of Uyo, the Emir of Fika and Chairman Yobe State Council of Chiefs, His Royal Majesty, Alhaji Dr. Muhammadu Abali Idrissa, observed that the number of candidates seeking admission into the university continues to grow astronomically, making it crucial for the university to provide quality and sustainable education to produce proper graduates and calling for change of curriculum to address our changing needs and our national development agenda that will translate into positive transformation. He therefore appreciated the excellent work the management and staff of the great institution are doing to produce graduates for the great nation. He specifically singled out for special commendation the state governor, His Excellency Dr. Godswill Akpabio, for the innumerable support he has provided the university.
The university offers 66 Academic programmes from 12 faculties with 51 of these programmes, which is 77.3%, having full accreditation status, 15 with interim accreditation. Institutional accreditation is expected in November this year. Accreditation teams of Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) accessed the MBA program in the faculty of Business Administration last July 12, NUC and the Council on Legal Education also visited Faculty of Law, NUC and the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council equally visited the college of Health Sciences to access the medical MBBS programme, NUC student support service team also visited the university to access the student facilities, two affiliate institutions were also visited, the Assemblies of God Divinity School of Nigeria, Abia State and The Apostolic Church Theological Seminary, Imo State.
The Chancellor admitted graduands into the various undergraduate and postgraduate degrees as well as the honorary degrees. Honour roll was made for students on grade point average above 4.5, best graduating student was Idongesit Festus of the department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
The Akwa Ibom State Government in the ceremony committed to construct two 500-bed capacity hostels at the University, saying the State Government was awaiting the structural design for the hostels, which will cost almost N1.6 billion, before commencing work.
The Governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Nsima Ekere, said the government had already built roads within the university and intervened in many other sectors including facilitating the re-accreditation of courses that were de-accredited. In addition, he said the government had also done internal roads at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital as well as built a paediatric ward and helped in several other infrastructural developments there. He appealed to the Federal Government, companies and individuals to come to the aid of the university, which he said, was in dire need of funds.
Chief Akpabio commended the Governing Council of the University for bracing the tape of gender equality by appointing its first female Vice Chancellor and Registrar. He pledged that the State Government will continue to provide a conducive atmosphere for learning as well as the necessary support to ensure that the school attains its full potentials and distinguishes itself amongst the comity of universities within the nation and globally.
The Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, who represented President Goodluck Jonathan, the visitor to the University, commended Governor Akpabio for his support to the university despite being a federal institution. She challenged the graduands to be worthy ambassadors of their alma mater and to think more of creating opportunities for themselves since the government could not employ everybody no matter how hard it tried.
Professor Rufa’i described as heart-warming the opportunities given women at the top management of the university which, according to her, was in line with the Federal Government’s disposition to appointing more women into positions of authority. She advised the management and staff to eschew bitterness and misconduct to move the university forward, stressing that the Federal Government was expecting the university to provide solutions to some of the country’s problems through vigorous engagement in problem-solving activities.
Responding on behalf of the honourees, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu who bagged a Doctor of Laws, Honoraris Causa of the University of Uyo, thanked the University for the Honour. He called for competitive learning and academic excellence among the students to ensure the rapid development of the university and to enhance quality of output and employability of the university’s graduates.
To support the university, Senator Ekweremadu instituted a Senator Ekweremadu best graduating student cash award of N500,000 (five hundred thousand Naira) annually to run for the next five years subject to renewal as well as another N300,000 annually for the overall best graduating student in the faculty of law. On behalf of senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who were present, he announced a contribution of N5million in support of the education endowment fund.
While welcoming guests and students to the convocation grounds, the first female Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof Comfort Ekpo, stated that “the 15th convocation was the first on the permanent site. That decision to move the ceremonies away from the town campus was a deliberate attempt to shift the focus of development to the permanent site and gradually decongest the town campus. We decided to hold the 17th and 18th convocation ceremonies at this permanent site in order to create more awareness of the enormous need of this 1,443 hectare campus in our drive to build a state-of-the-art university campus befitting our age and status as a third generation Nigerian university. Part of the activities today should challenge us all to help build infrastructure for this university and create academic environment we can all be proud of.” She thanked all education friendly individuals and organisations who plan to donate to the university’s fund.
To delight of guests the convocation graduated her first batch of medical doctors, reports from external assessors confirm their high standard of performance in their examinations and therefore the university has no doubt that these doctors will render high standards of professional services. The medical school is reported to be an initiative of Prof. Lasisi.
Entrepreneurial studies being a new NUC requirement compels the university to ensure that students acquire various trade skills before graduation. In support of this the Dr. Barth Ebong Entrepreneurial building in the town campus of the university has been approved for completion to serve as a machinery to inculcate entrepreneurial culture in students and graduates of the institution.
Research committee has been inaugurated to develop blueprint for research and development for the university so as to place the university on the world map of research institutions. Business incubation component was also introduced to the university’s academic programme to enhance the entrepreneurial idea of the federal government.
Nagging challenges and priority projects of the university are currently the completion of central administration building, completion of university library, completion of university health centre, completion of faculty of agriculture building, completion of faculty of science building, construction of education block and lecture theatre, construction of Information Technology (IT) centre, provision of perimeter fencing of the main campus.
Curiously and for strange reasons, the University of Uyo has never been given any fund to aid its initial take-off as a federal university and has never been a beneficiary of any special intervention fund. The university requires infrastructure to create conducive atmosphere for acquisition of knowledge in the 21st century.