A total of one hundred and eighty-eight (188) out of 1,125 graduates emerged with First Class Honours in the awards of Bachelor’s degree at the 12th Convocation Ceremony of Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, held on Friday, July 21, 2017 inside the University’s Chapel.
The awards of Bachelor’s degree also featured 568 Second Class Honours (Upper Division), 322 Second Class Honours (Lower Division), while 47 made Third Class Honours.
Additionally, 35 graduated with the Doctor of Philosophy degree, 235 earned a Master’s degree, and 31 bagged the postgraduate diploma degree at the ceremony, where the Chancellor and Chairman, Board of Regents, Covenant University, Dr. David O. Oyedepo, charged members of the 2017 graduating class tagged, ‘The Royal Set’, to go into the world of work with a contributor’s mentality.
Graduates, said the Chancellor, must possess a contributor’s mentality to make the most of their journey through life. “Go out to say I have what it takes to add value to human life and you would be a value-adding citizen. In conformity with our mission as a University, we have invested massively in making you a total graduate, go and add value as an entity of reference,” he surmised.
While congratulating the graduates and their parents, Dr. Oyedepo noted that the true value of education is in creating solution, adding that there is no value to a certificate that does not add value. He said the graduates have the responsibility to create solutions to the myriad of problems plaguing Nigeria as a nation.
The event, which attracted dignitaries from all walks of life including the governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Ayodele Fayose and Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Dr. Justin Okonoboh, featured a Keynote Address delivered by Ms. Cecilia Akintomide, a former Vice-President and Secretary General of the African Development Bank.
The Keynote Speaker, Ms. Akintomide, in her speech titled, ‘Leadership by Products: The Role of Universities’, said that the leadership of a University should be based on its products. These products, according to her, must include the quality of graduates released, the quality of research conducted, the knowledge determined, and the contribution to societal wellbeing and economic development.
While asserting that effective universities will require innovative funding strategies, strategic partnerships and cooperation, and a commitment to excellence, Ms. Akintomide stated that Nigeria cannot continue to maintain the status quo in the education sector. She added that the continued creation of private universities with inadequate funding for public universities will generate inequities that will haunt the nation’s future.
She enumerated products that define the leadership of a university as the graduates; the research conducted by the university; the knowledge that is disseminated from the University; and the impact of the University on the society. “As a Covenant University graduate, you are in a privileged position compared to other graduates. Your training, unlike others, has focused on ensuring employability or work readiness, and character. You are being sent as a change agent, you do not conform to that which you are to transform,” she said.
Ms. Akintomide congratulated the graduands and urged them to always remember God, be resilient, excellent, be humble and go for gold in all that they do.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Rasheed, who congratulated the Covenant University Chancellor and Founder, Dr. David O. Oyedepo, for the great achievements recorded by the University, said that no nation records appreciable progress without the transformation of education.
Represented by the Director of Quality Assurance at the NUC, Dr. Noel Biodun Soliu, the NUC executive secretary acknowledged the positive impacts being made by the private sector in university education in the country, just as he affirmed that the NUC was optimistic that the challenge of access will be a thing of the past and quality will not be compromised.
The NUC scribe appreciated the graduands, telling them that the opportunity has come for them to justify the investment made in them. He added that, “The growth of Covenant University in a relatively short period of existence is commendable. All programmes of the University meet the required standards stipulated by the NUC; we can only urge you to continue to build on your achievements”.
Earlier on, the Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor AAA. Atayero, in his welcome address, said that the University was graduating another set of expert thinkers and world changers rightly referred to as Eagles. The Eagles being released, he explained, have been equipped with the capacity to face the storms of life and soar on them to prominence by grace through faith.
Speaking on the series of milestones recorded by the University in the 2016/2017 Academic Session, the Vice-Chancellor said that the University, by making Research its priority, had committed itself to a continuous increase in the quality of its profile in the global community and the quality of teaching that its students enjoy from the faculty.
The strategic positioning, he stated, has begun to pay off as Covenant University is now the number one in the research fields of Wind Power, Wind Turbine, Corrosion, Corrosion inhibitors, Carbon steel; and the world’s number two in Trade, Remittance, and Housing; Residential satisfaction, among many other accolades from research endeavours by faculty and students.
Professor Atayero congratulated the graduating students and prayed for them to rise above all the storms of life to achieve success in all their ways.
The high point of the event, the Award of First and Higher Degrees and Presentation of Special Awards and Prizes, was the presentation to the Chancellor a roll call of PhD graduates from the School of Postgraduate Studies and graduates with First Class Honours in Undergraduate programmes from the various Colleges and Departments.
In her response speech, the Best Graduating Student in the University, Jumoke Abisola Fasuyi, who had a 4.95 CPGA in Accounting, appreciated the privilege of representing the graduating class of 2017. She said that the transformation of the students into graduates wouldn’t have been possible without God, to whom they return the glory. The graduates, she stated further, were indebted to their parents, the faculty and the school for contributing in no small measures to the ‘Total Man’ they have become.
She thanked the Chancellor and Management of the University for their investment in the lives of students and as Eagles, they will go into the world and make the University proud.
Also in attendance at the event were members of the Board of Regents, the University Senate, visiting Vice-Chancellors, traditional rulers, parents, guardians, well-wishers and other distinguished guests.