A total of 125 students of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), on Saturday, graduated with First Class at the 46th and 47th combined convocation ceremony.
Vice-Chancellor of UNIBEN, Professor Lilian Salami, in her welcome address, also disclosed that a total of 2,794 got second class upper division while those awarded Honorary doctorate degrees include; General Theophilus Danjuma, a former Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Oyegun, Dr. Thomas Ilube, Oluwakemi Pinheiro and Natalia Kanem.
Salami told the gathering that 8,996 graduates have earned the university’s first degrees or certificates in the 2018/2019 academic session, while 8,521 graduated in the 2019/2020 academic session.
Chancellor of the University who is the Paramount and Traditional ruler of the Tiv nation of Benue State, His Royal Majesty, Orchivirigh Professor James Ayatse, commended President Muhammadu Buhari, Visitor to the University for the prevailing industrial harmony in Nigeria Universities.
He called on all hands to remain on deck in order to sustain the momentum.
He acknowledged the milestones in industrial peace achieved in the tertiary institutions, which the monarch said is occasioned by the various agreements reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the modest fulfillment of the same.
Recognizing that ASUU’s demands for improved infrastructure have not been fully met, HRM maintained that the fact that the government is listening and willing to do its utmost within the limits of available resources speaks volumes about the President’s commitment to the progress of the education sector in the country.
To further consolidate on the gains of the prevailing industrial harmony, HRM appealed to relevant agencies handling the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) to fine-tune their operations to eliminate abnormalities currently being experienced in some institutions.
Representative of Education Minister, Adamu Adamu, the Director of University Education, Hajia. Iliyasu Gambo told the gathering that the government was aware of the shortfalls in education funding, adding, however, that concerted efforts were being made to bridge the funding gaps.
Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr. Ben. Bem Goong noted that Mrs. Gambo asked graduands to place national interest above themselves to build a viral and sustainable Nation.
Also speaking at the convocation ceremony, Pro-Chancellor, and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Benin, Olo’ogun Dr. Sonny Kuku, expressed appreciation to President Buhari for his untiring efforts to reposition the education sector for the progress of the country.
In particular, the Pro-Chancellor listed projects in the university being undertaken by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) to include; the Professorial Building, Hostel for International students, Laboratory for Urology Department, Faculty of Agriculture Complex, Centre of excellence in Aquaculture and Food Technology Building, Research and Innovation Hub, and two student’s hostels among others.
These projects, the Pro-Chancellor said, are clear manifestations of the special attention the Federal Government accords the University of Benin in particular and tertiary education in general.
In his keynote address, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, revealed that his administration is in the process of coming up with a 30-year development plan that will cater to all sectors especially education.
His excellency extolled the virtues of recipients of Honorary degrees, describing them as outstanding.