The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, has advised the federal government to set up a special fund to drive the development of private universities in Nigeria.
A 21 year old boy, Ahwin Kevin Akporode, yesterday emerged the overall best students among the graduands produced by Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti(ABUAD), for the 2016/2017 graduation.
Ahwin, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering scored a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 5.00 to emerge overall best among 869 graduating students of the institution.
The university, through its founder and Chancellor, Chief Afe Babalola(SAN), also conferred honorary Doctor of Letters on the former Executive Secretary of the National Universities(NUC) , Prof Peter Okebukola and an American Philanthropist and President of Project CURE Foundation, Dr Williams Douglas Jackson.
Oba Adeyemi, who spoke at the 2017 convocation ceremony of the university said: “with what Chief Babalola has done in this university, nothing is too big for the federal government to do for a private university of this stature.
“This university is an exemplar in learning and character. It is moulding Nigeria’s future leaders in the best fashion and I believe it won’t be out of place for FG to give special intervention funds for private universities”.
Ahwin, son of a retired Air Commodore, Chief J.D. Ahwin, dedicated the academic laurel to his sterling parental guide, which he said was outstanding.
“I owe this achievement to my parents. My father’s strict military background and my mother’s guide as a teacher helped me a lot.
“When I got to ABUAD, I also applied the aphorism of our founder, which is industry, determination, learning and character. The combination of all these helped me a lot”, he said.
Babalola, in his speech said the university won’t deviate from its focus to bridge the existing gap in functional education in Nigeria, by being pragmatic in approach in teaching of students.
Babalola appealed to the federal government to begin the construction of airport in Ekiti, saying such project was long overdue taking cognizance of the feats achieved by the university and its
contributions to nation building .
“We started this university with about 250 students seven years ago. But today, we have 8,000 students here. We were able to achieve this because we deviated from the norm of just going to university to get
certificates, ours is learning and character.
“We also exposed them to skills acquisition in baking, farming, Internet expertise, and other entrepreneurial skills that can make them cope under the present Nigeria’s economy, so what you are seeing are thorough-bred graduates who can effectively stand on their own”, he said.
The Governor of Ekiti State, Chief Ayodele Fayose, reminded the graduands to detach themselves from the erroneous impression that acquisition of university certificates would automatically make their lives better.
“It will be wrong for you to think that people only go to university to acquire certificates, no it goes beyond that. What university education means is the training of a complete being. One who can be good in both character and learning. One, who can think of his nation and how to make it better and one, who will be ready to join forces to
make society better at all times, this is what we call education”, Fayose said.
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