281 graduands will bag First Class certificates out of 15,753 students that will be graduating during the 51st convocation ceremonies at the University of Lagos Akoka, which has been scheduled to hold between July 5 and 8.
The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, at a press briefing ahead of the convocation said the First Class graduands are among more than 15,000 billed to receive their certificates and diplomas during the ceremonies.
Ogundipe disclosed that the best graduand, Alimi Adedeji, from the Faculty of Science, led the pack with cumulative gradient point average (CGPA) of 4.98 out of the possible 5 points.
Followed by a female graduand, Opeyemi Popoola, of the department of economics is this year’s best graduating student with a CGPA of 4.90.
He also announced that a 71-year-old student will be the oldest to be awarded a Ph.D degree in the history of the school.
The vice-chancellor, who listed many achievements of the institution despite the biting scourge of the coronavirus pandemic, said the university has attracted more than N14 billion as research grants for academic and non-academic projects.
This year’s convocation ceremony is coming more than a year after an abrupt cancellation of the ceremony which Mr Ogundipe attributed to “personal interest” and “misinformation.”
He said; “You all recall that on Monday, March 2, 2020 we were gathered in this Chamber to commence activities for the 51st Convocation Ceremonies of the University scheduled then to hold from March 9-12, 2020, but as it turned out, the Ceremonies were cancelled as a result of the personal interest of some individuals. You were all aware that it was the erstwhile Pro-Chancellor, Olawale Babalakin, that misinformed the Ministry of Education and caused the convocation Ceremonies to be cancelled.
“The cost of the cancellation financially, emotionally and materially cannot be measured.
“This event represented a dark moment in the history of our university, but it was also an opportunity for us to learn new lessons on how to strengthen our institutions and processes.”
Mr Ogundipe said following the cancellation of the convocation, the school management could not access funds, budget was not approved, and the “general administration of the University reached its lowest ebb.”
He acknowledged the federal government and President Muhammadu Buhari as the institution’s Visitor for their intervention in the time of crisis while he “empathise with the graduating students who have had to wait this long to eventually convoke.”
According to the vice-chancellor, the three-day convocation will culminate in the graduation of a total of 15,753 students.
He said on April 22, the university recorded a milestone to afford the students the opportunity to be innovative, entrepreneurial in their course of study.
“Specifically on Thursday, April 22, 2021, the University of Lagos recorded another developmental milestone by commissioning and officially opening its incubation and co-working hub tagged BOI-UNILAG incubation and co-working hub,” he said.
Moreso, the VC seized the opportunity to mention Miss Chidinma Ojukwu the alleged killer of Mr. Unifi Ataga, Super TV boss, saying the suspect is indeed a part time student of Mass Communication of the institution.