Titilayo Jolapamo, 22, has emerged the overall best student of 2018/2019 graduating set of Achievers University, Owo in Ondo State.
The university held its eighth and ninth convocation ceremonies on Saturday at the institution’s campus.
Ms Jolapamo, who read Microbiology, scored 4.85 cummulative grade point aggregate, CGPA, to emerge the overall best student of her set.
Although Ms Jolapamo said that the journey was tough, she, however, added that she was able to navigate through perseverance and determination.
She noted that she did not mind the societal norm but kept fighting with interest and zeal in order to be a change agent in the society.
Ms Jolapamo stated that she was confident in the direction of the university’s dream and lived to uphold its motto.
She, therefore, urged her colleagues to channel all they had learnt to adding value to themselves, their immediate environment and the country at large.
Ms Jolapamo appreciated the institution’s management for imparting in the graduands wealth of expertise in various areas of life, pledging to be a good ambassador of the university.
Speaking at the occasion, Sen Bode Olajumoke, the immediate past Chancellor of the university, called for a review of the policy which discriminated against and excluded private universities from financial assistance by both the federal and state governments.
According to him, graduates of private universities are also making impacts on the economy of the country, hence the need to consider them during their academic pursuits.
“Why must they be discriminated against? The federal government, particularly the National Assembly must do something about this,” he said.
Ms Olajumoke enjoined graduands to face the challenges of life with courage and be good ambassadors of the institution, adding they had been trained and equipped to face the challenges of life and come out victorious.
Ms Olajumoke, who stepped down as the chancellor of the school after seven years in office, was succeeded by Hon. Yakubu Dogara, the immediate past Speaker of House of Representatives.
Ms Dogara said that before accepting the chancellorship, he had perused the vision and mission of the university as well as its history since it was established 11 years ago.
He said that he was impressed with the university’s vision and mission, pledging to join hands with other stakeholders in lifting its banner of greatness by raising the bar of academic excellence for the benefit of humanity.
The former speaker congratulated the graduands and implored them to utilise the genius in them and be patriotic to the country, saying that Nigeria was in dire need of true patriots.
He also congratulated all the awardees, saying that the honour bestowed on them was in recognition of their academic excellence, adding that it was a call for greater service to their fatherland.
The institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Tunji Ibiyemi, said that the university started in 2008, with eight undergraduate programmes in two colleges.
Mr Ibiyemi added that the university was currently running 22 academic programmes, while the number of colleges had risen to four.
He noted that the university got approval for running postgraduate studies in the 2017/2018 academic session in Accounting, Business Administration and Computer Science.
The vice chancellor said that the institution had admitted 13 sets and graduated nine sets of undergraduates.
He said that the two sets totalled 400, with 22 of them having First Class Honours division, 217 Second Class Honours (Upper Division), 130 Second Class Honours (Lower Division), while the remaining 31had Third Class Honours division.
Ibiyemi said that the first set of postgraduate graduands, numbering 48, would be awarded of Master of Science degrees.
He disclosed that the university had formally established academic linkage and collaboration with two universities in the USA and Kenya for exchange of students and staff as well as research collaboration.
“Our MoU with the university in USA included 50 percent fee rebate for any graduate of Achievers University who wants to do his/her postgraduate programmes in the university,” he said.
The vice chancellor urged the federal government to ensure that universities in Nigeria were true citadels of applied learning and knowledge, which must be driven by quality research.
He urged the graduands to put into use things they had seen, learnt and received from the university for the benefit of humanity.
The Pro-Chancellor and Founder of the institution, Dr Bode Ayorinde, said that Nigeria was still battling with serious challenges, bordering on security of lives and property.
Mr Ayorinde implored the university community in the country not to fold its arms, but to engage in constant research that would proffer solutions to the myriad of challenges confronting the country.
He attributed the security crisis in the country to hunger and idleness, occasioned by mass unemployment.
The pro-chancellor called on government to make a holistic approach to arresting the menace of insecurity and unemployment, in order to move the country forward.
He added that government at all levels must take advantage of the natural resources that abound in Nigeria to establish, at least, one company in each of the 774 local governments in the country.
According to him, the resources in each council area should be explored by such a company to provide employment opportunities for at least 2,000 people.
Mr Dogara, Bishop Matthew Kukah, the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Mrs Olusola Momoh, the Vice-Chairman of Channels Media Group and Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State were awarded honourary doctorate degrees by the university.