Friends and families recently thronged Otta, Ogun State for the 14th convocation ceremony of Covenant University.
The event commemorated the conferment of the award of first and higher degrees on graduands who looked all ecstatic in their graduation attire.
Delivering the inaugural lecture to the graduating students and dignitaries, including the Chancellor, Bishop David Oyedepo, as well as wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, was Dr Monisoye Afolab. She spoke on – The Africa We Want: The Role of Higher Education.
Afolabi, who is a former Director of Business Environment, USAID Trade Hub, Accra, Ghana, said Africa is likely to have more population than China and India with time. He counselled that the continent should take advantage of its population and invest hugely in education, if it must take its rightful place. He concluded his lecture by extolling the virtues and reputation of the institution.
A student in the Department of Petroleum Engineering, College of Engineering, Motunrayo Ajia, emerged the best student with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 5.0, a feat she attributed to God and hard work.
Among the guests who gathered to celebrate were the Okoros whose daughter, Chidinma was among the graduands. Father of the lady, Meckson Okoro, a businessman and politician in Imo State, said his joy knew no bounds as a proud father of four university graduates.
“I feel so good and more so, I am grateful to God Almighty for enabling me to produce four graduates from the university. God gave me four children and all of them are now graduates. Three of my children graduated from this same Covenant University and my first child graduated from the University of Lagos and my wife too. Honestly, l must say that l am happy and excited,” Mr Okoro said.
On his comparison of the standard of education today and what was obtainable in his days, he noted: “Every generation has it challenges. You will agree with me that the challenge of our time is not the exact challenge of this generation. During our time, education was not that easy because we based everything on what we read from books. Research was not also too easy but job opportunity was easy because few people went to school. These days, many parents send their children to schools; research is easier now due to availability of information technology and other facilities, which have made the world a global village.
“Many people go to school but the job availability is not there because our government is not performing well in every area of the economy, particularly on job creation. The government is dying everyday and to the best of my knowledge, Nigeria has had no responsible government since the democratic government came into existence till date.
In my opinion, l think that university authorities should begin to design school subjects that would make our graduates job creators, rather than wait for government to create jobs.
Okoro’s daughter, Chidinma, who graduated from the Department of Economics, recalled her journey as an undergraduate, while also bearing her mind on entrepreneurial skills and financial independence, as a fresh graduate.
Her words: “What first attracted me to this course, Economics, was the enormous variety encompassed within one course. The exposure to business, game theory, statistics, behavioural science, to mention a few, increased my passion to learn and know more about how people, businesses, nations operate and optimise for growth.
“I believe that entrepreneurial skills and financial independence are vital for personal growth and that of a nation’s economy. With the increasing outflow of graduates into the job market yearly, the amount of available jobs has not increased. Entrepreneurship, to me, is beyond just creating a business. It is identifying a problem, whether at work, at school, or as a businessperson, and creating a solution for it— seeing opportunities and taking advantage of it, boldly. In a country with unequal job opportunities for different sectors, graduates should embrace their instincts and passion and follow them. It is at this point their journey to financial independence begins.”