University of Uyo has marked her 19th and 20th Convocation with a total of 1,602 postgraduate awards and 6,700 undergraduate awards as well as conferment of honorary degrees on the Chief Judge of the Akwa Ibom State, Justice Idongesit Isua; foremost Engineer in the Oil and Gas sector, Mr. Egbert Imomoh as well as Mr. Christopher Jolly, a Briton who is the initiator and managing director of the Jolly Learning Limited.
The events which kick-started on Thursday, November 20, 2014 with a Convocation Lecture presented by Most Reverend Matthew F. Kukah took place at the permanent campus of the institution, Nsukara, Uyo.
Declaring the convocation open, Chancellor of the Institution, Alhaji Muhammadu Abali Ibn Idrissa, who is also the Emir of Fika Emirate in Yobe State noted that the event could have been held in 2013 but for the June 12 crisis that rocked the school and the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU).
He described the event as “special in that for the first time in this university, we are conducting the award of degrees on two days- one for the award of first degrees and the other for higher and honorary degrees, including the introduction of a keynote speech on the day of convocation.”
The Chancellor further asserted that the goal of the university is to produce employable as well as employment generating graduates hence the decision to inculcate entrepreneurial skills in students through hands-on exposure of students to training outlets.
Continuing, he congratulated the duo of the Pro-Chancellor of the school, Prof. Kimse A. B. Okoko on his conferment of the national award of Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR); and the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Comfort Ekpo for “putting things in place for this convocation and for leading the University to achieve a prime position among the universities in this country.”
While welcoming all to the event, he solicited for prayers for the cessation of insurgency attacks in Yobe and other states in the North East of the country.
In his address, Pro-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Kimse Okoko stressed that the hard work put in by the students during the past years have been justified by the joys of the event, and conveyed the appreciation of the institution’s management to them for being good ambassadors of the school.
Highlighting some achievements of the institution, he noted that it was the institution that started the post-UTME screening that “other universities have now borrowed a leaf from us and this has become a norm throughout the country”, adding that the school has also gone digital with the donations of computers and provision of internet facilities, noting that Registrations and checking of results by students are now done online.
While making reference to a recent rating by online search engine, Google in which the institution was placed before many first generation universities in the country, Prof. Okoko thanked parents and stakeholders for the continuous support both financially and morally.
The Vice Chancellor of the Institution, Prof. Comfort Ekpo, in her address, described UNIUYO as a democratic system which operates strictly according to rules and regulations governing its structure, stressing that in spite of difficulties, “a reflection of the journey so far in this University in the period between the last convocation ceremonies and today represents to us the testimony that adversity when courageously and prayerfully confronted can yield prosperity and progress.”
She said the institution is committed to sustaining the existing academic traditions and practices through organizing and hosting Inaugural and Public Lectures, conferences, catering for the welfare of members of staff and students as well as other lofty innovations.
On the challenges facing the institution, the VC highlighted inadequtate student accommodation, staff offices laboratories facilities, lack of infrastructures, libraries, seminar rooms, lecture theatres, land encroachment/ lack of perimeter fence as well as securing the institution against elements of chaos and criminality.
Also speaking, President Goodluck Jonathan represented by Prof. Muhammed Hammisu, took notice of the school’s challenges as enumerated by the VC, promising “that by this time next year, all the challenges shall no longer exist.”
On the nation’s education sector, he assured Nigerians that his government has been working in harmonious cooperation with the unions, associations and other stakeholders in the education sector, and that his administration remains committed to the various agreements and forms of understanding reached with these bodies towards a holistic realization of set goals.
He, however, congratulated the graduands and charged them to be worthy ambassadors of the University and Nigeria.
Governor Godswill Akpabio, represented by the Deputy Governor, Lady Valerie Ebeh said he is indeed proud to be the governor of Akwa Ibom State because of the giant strides the institution has recorded in the sector and pledged that the state government will continue partnering with the institution.
The best graduating student was Agu, Ogbonnaya Ekwe of the Mechanical Engineering Department with a cumulative grade average of 4.7.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor led the institution’s officers and journalists to the commissioning of an ultra-modern Cafeteria located at the Town Campus of the institution as well as the UNIUYO Table Water factory at the permanent campus of the school at Nsukara.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Table water factory, the VC stressed that the existence of water production factory in the school means that peace has come to stay in the institution, since water signifies clemency and goodwill. She promised that the institution will continue embarking on projects that will add value to the school.
Also speaking, Dr. Valentine Attah lauded the VC for fast tracking the progress of the institution, saying the school is now a reputable ivory tower with top notch facilities and innovations. – See more at: http://radarpapers.com/uniuyo-convokes-8302-graduates/#sthash.OLlfP3EE.dpuf