Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State recently contributed to the body of knowledge when it conferred first degrees, diplomas and higher degrees to 10,583 graduates including 124 PhD.
The 38-year-old university also conferred honorary degrees on three prominent Nigerians at the combined convocation ceremonies for 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 academic sessions.
The combined convocation ceremonies attracted Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mr. Clement Agba, deputy governor, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, OOU Governing Council chairman, Mrs. Mosun Belo-Olusoga, principal officers of OOU, several traditional rulers and parents of the graduating students.
The highpoint of the convocation ceremony was the conferment of honorary degrees on Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle and Major General Sansadeen Awosanya for their contributions to the development of Ogun State and the nation.
Ogun State Governor, Prince Abiodun congratulated the 10,583 graduands for in completing their university education and reminded them on what lies ahead, ‘’this ceremony marks the end of a phase in your life. It is also a major transition into another phase of life. Some of you may proceed in your academic pursuit to earn higher certificates.
‘’But one thing is sure, all of you are leaving OOU with your certificates to go into the University of Life where paper certificate is just a part. Your true certificates in the University of Life are what you can do for yourself and what you contribute to the development of humanity. At this time, you will have to think of not just your personal good, but the general good of humanity as a whole. Let me remind us that success is neither final nor failure fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.’’
Abiodun said from the various reports received about OOU, the university is on the path of progress and also expressed joy on the results of the National Universities Commission (NUC) accreditation visits to OOU, which recorded 96 percent success. The governor assured that the challenges facing the only outstanding course, Architecture, would be addressed.
‘’Let me further encourage them not to rest on their oars until all the programmes in the university get full accreditation. I have been informed of the impending accreditation exercise in November 2020 and I assure the university that government will, within the available resources, do all it can to ensure that OOU attains 100 percent accreditation in the exercise.’’
The governor stressed that his administration took bold steps and resolved all pertinent and lingering crises that rendered the education sector comatose and in the case of OOU, he revealed that the university has continued to grow in leaps and bounds.
He congratulated the honorary awardees, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Oba Kehinde Gbadewole Olugbenle, Olu of Ilaro and paramount ruler of Yewaland; and, Major General S.A. Awosanya (rtd.) for the honour well deserved.
Governor Abiodun offered automatic employment in the state public service to the two best overall graduating students, Ajayi Opeyemi (2017/2018) Etieh Justice (2018/2019), stating ‘’this is a token of recognition that we hope will spur you to continue on the path of excellence in all you do.’’
In her address, the Governing Council chairman, Mrs. Mosun Belo-Olusoga said since the last convocation ceremony in January 2018, OOU has made steady progress, adding “council has undertaken rapid infrastructural development on our campuses.”
She disclosed that 45 programmes of OOU are due for re-accreditation by the NUC while the medical and law programmes would face re-accreditation from the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and the Nigerian Legal Council respectively and sought the support of the state government to accomplish the task.
Mosun tasked the graduating students to prepare for the future by developing good time management habits as well as remain worthy ambassadors of OOU.
The Vice-Chancellor of OOU, Prof Ganiyu Olatunde disclosed that 10,583 graduates were be awarded first degrees, diplomas, postgraduate degrees and diplomas for 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 academic sessions.
According to him, the university produced 42 First Class with two students emerging best overall, Ajayi Jesulayomi from the Department of Electrical Electronics Engineering and Etieh Justice from the Department of Biochemistry both made 4.76 CGPA while 124 others bagged PhD.
Prof Olatunde confirmed that in the last eight years, OOU enjoyed academic stability which impacted on the desires of many candidates to make the university their first choice. He said in the last UTME exercise, over 20,000 candidates picked OOU but only 7,000 were offered admission.
He explained that the major challenge facing OOU is the inadequacy of funds to address the new minimum wage that the Federal Government approved recently and which the staff unions expect the state government and the university to pay, stressing thyat the amount required to pay the new wage runs into several billions of Naira and the university finance cannot address.
The VC, Prof Olatunde assisted by the deputy VC, Prof Ebunolowa Oduwole decorated the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed with D.Sc. Honoris Causa, Olu of Ilaro and Paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle with D.Litt, Honoris Causa and Major General Sansadeen Awosanya (retd) with D.Litt, Honoris Causa.
Ahmed, who responded on behalf of the honorary awardees, thanked the university for finding them worthy for the awards and pledged their continued commitment to OOU.