FUNAI TURNS-OUT 22 FIRST CLASS GRADUATES AT 2ND CONVOCATION
- As John Nnia Nwodo delivers 2nd Convocation Lecture
- Governing Council honours past VC, others
The Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State, has turned-out 22 first class graduates at its 2nd convocation ceremony held yesterday at the convocation arena.
Speaking at the epoch-making event, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Chinedum Uzoma Nwajiuba noted that 247 graduates were turned-out at this year’s convocation ceremony; out of which 22 graduated with first class honours degrees in different disciplines.
Hear him “The graduands being celebrated today are 247…Of these 247 graduands, 22 emerged in first class, 140 in the second class upper, 80 in the second class lower, and 5 in the third class.”
He attributed the good performance to a number of factors which included excellent and world-class staff – student ratios, staff commitment, willingness of students to learn, dearth of common vices plaguing other older universities, good laboratories and workshops, among others.
Admonishing the graduands, the Vice Chancellor said: “May I remind you that sowing and reaping have not ended with your graduation, You have merely moved to higher levels of sowing and reaping. What eventually becomes of you will depend not only on the quality of your harvest so far, which have become seeds for the future- and that is the degree you are being admitted into today – but what choices you make in the years ahead; for every choice we make will bear consequences.”
Nwajiuba also used the opportunity to express his gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for the Federal government’s ecological intervention in the University. He further thanked the Ebonyi State Government for their warm relationship with the university, and called on investors and good-spirited individuals to contribute to the development of the University,
In his own speech, the Pro-chancellor and Chairman of the University Governing Council, Professor Mba Uzoukwu, reiterated the commitment of the Council to ensuring that the institution sticks to the principles of excellence and integrity, vowing to promote the culture of selfless service, transparency, accountability and meritocracy in running the affairs of the University. He also stressed their support to Senate and Management of the institution in order to produce highly knowledgeable, responsible and enterprising graduates.
The Chancellor, His Royal Majesty, Oba Michael Aremu Adedotun Gbadebo, the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland while addressing the Convocation charged the University authorities to remain committed to the vision of building a world-class institution that would be reputed for its vibrant teaching and learning activities. He stressed that the level of Nigeria’s economic growth and development depends to a large extent on the quality and quantity of functional knowledge and sellable skills at the disposal of the citizens as well as the quality of research output from Universities.
The Visitor of the University and the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari while addressing the Convocation reiterated the commitment of his government towards funding education even as he challenged universities to embark on productive research and international collaborations in order to enunciate innovative ideas and solutions to problems facing the nation.
The President who was represented by the Director of Management Support Services in the National Universities Commission, Bar. Victor Onuoha also used the opportunity to reiterate his commitment towards ensuring a better deal for all Nigerians, adding that the policies of his government have started making positive impact on the economy. The President further noted that the fight against corruption in public offices and war against book haram and other security challenges shall be sustained to ensure the country is safe for living and investment.
Meanwhile, the President-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo was the guest lecturer at the 2nd convocation lecture of the university which was chaired by the wife of the first President of Nigeria, Professor Uche Azikiwe.
Speaking on the topic: “National Reconciliation and The Role of Universities”, Nwodo noted that universities were supposed to be places for research, growth of ideas, and solution-oriented contribution for advancement of mankind, but decried the lack of funding, poor management and intellectual dishonesty that are deterring most Nigerian Universities from fulfilling those roles.
Cases of lecturers compromising their objectivity in marking of scripts by awarding marks to students for money have dented confidentiality and reliability in the rating of students in examinations”, he lamented.
He further called on government to maintain the autonomy of Universities if they were to achieve the purpose of their establishment. He maintained that universities in Nigeria by the laws that govern them were expected to enjoy considerable internal autonomy in their administration but regretted that government’s appointment of University Governing Councils mostly on political patronage has remotely diluted their autonomy.
Earlier in her opening remarks, the Chair of the occasion, Professor Azikiwe reiterated her belief in one Nigeria, urging all those calling for Nigeria’s dismemberment to retrace their footsteps and seek other peaceful means for making their grievances known to government. She further stressed the importance of fairness for all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic, religious and political linings, calling on the government to listen to all grievances and tackle all forms of marginalization against some aggrieved ethnic nationalities in order to promote national reconciliation.
The University Governing Council also used the period of the Convocation ceremony to honour its former Pro-chancellor/Chairman, Engr. Anayo Onwuegbu, former Vice Chancellor and Registrar, Professor Oye Ibidapo-Obe and Mr. Gabriel O. Chukwu, and a former member of the Council, Mrs. Rose Gold-Idehen, for their meritorious service to the University.