By Emmanuel Edukugho
DELIVERING his address at the Second Convocation Ceremony of Bells University of Technology, Ota, held Saturday, Professor Isaac Adebayo Adeyemi, the Vice-Chancellor, charged all the graduating students to brace up and gird their loins.
“If you are bruised and battered as you tread along the narrow path to greatness, you must never, never despair. You must remain unbowed and unbent. By so doing, the wind of positive change will began to blow across the terrain of your existence and your names and the name of your Alma Mater will be etched in letters of gold.”
He admonished them to excel at all times and transform themselves to celebrated champions in their chosen fields. That the university expects them to strive for greatness, to leave behind bold footprints in the sands of time and must remember that to be great demands stead fastness, doggedness and perseverance. And that the path to greatness is strewn with pricks and pains, with thistles and bristles.
Adeyemi mentioned challenges that still stare the university in the face, which have to be tackled.
*Construction of two new Halls of Residence for 2011/2012 in take to accommodate at least 600 students.
*Accreditation of programmes in the College of Management Sciences.
*Provision of more laboratory materials and spaces, especially for the programmes in the Colleges of Engineering and Environmental Sciences.
*Increased drive for enhanced internally generated revenue.
*Commencement of Postgraduate programmes.
*Improvement in recreational facilities for staff and students.
The Vice Chancellor also referred to one main challenge facing the nation’s educational system, especially at the pre-University level, which is the poor performance of candidates in English Language and Mathematics.
According to him, “this has generated the following under listed effects on the general educational system and, indirectly, university admission.”
*Prolonged stay at home of candidates between the end of their pre-university education and university education.
*Candidates’ involvement in illicit group or company including cultism, mass involvement of candidates in examination malpractice.
*Candidates being forced to take up programmes or courses against their desire.
*Victims of fake admissions as a result of sheer desperation to get into higher institutions of learning.
He urged government and relevant authorities to look into the aforementioned effects.
Adeyemi praised the level of performance of Bellstech students which continues to justify the establishment of the first private university of technology in Nigeria.
There were seventy (70) graduating students with 12 obtaining First Class, 33 Second Class Upper, 20 Second Class Lower and 5 having Third Class.
On Academic Matters, he said that at the beginning of the 2009/2010 academic session, students were admitted into programmes in the new Colleges of Engineering and Environmental Sciences. The current enrolment into the two colleges stands at 87 students and 17 students respectively. As expected, from the 2010 enrolment, programmes in the engineering field are highly sought after.
“It is expected that by the time the university holds its 2011 matriculation ceremony, the total student population would be close to 2,000. Thus, the university is moving steadily but cautiously to the expected student population of 5,000 at full maturity.”
For the university, there has been a steady increase in staff strength, both teaching and non-teaching, while some staff on their post-graduates’ programmes (Masters and Doctorates) have completed their studies.
“We are striving to establish a conducive environment for research that would make our academic staff to excel both nationally and internationally. Gradually, we are building a critical mass of academic staff that would contribute to the realization of excellence,” he assured.
Two honorary doctorate degrees (Honoris Causa) were awarded during the second convocation 2010. Dr. Emmanuel Onu Egbogah, OON, described as an intellectual icon, a geological and petroleum engineering guru, doyen of the oil and gas sector, and an internationally recognized authority in the field of petroleum policy and strategy was decorated with Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) DSC in recognition of his contributions to the development of science and technology.
The second awardee was Professor Emeritus, Oladipo Olujimi Akinkugbe, described as a giant and an enigma in the medical profession, an intellectual icon, and an internationally acclaimed scholar. He was awarded Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) in recognition of his distinguished services in Human Health.
The president and chairman, Board of Trustees, Professor Emeritus Tekena Tamuno gave a valedictory address titled: “To The University And The Nation”, pointing to the uniqueness of the Second Convocation ceremony, as it marked the occasion when all three foundation colleges of the university are presenting graduands (a total of 70) for the award of their various Bachelors Degrees.
He warmly, congratulated the distinguished recipients of the Honorary Degrees, saying, “In you and through you, we have honest listening-posts and competent counselors concerning our future growth and development.
The Overall Best Graduating Student, Kukoyi Iretimipo, with CGPA of 4.97 and having first class from College of Food Science in his valedictory speech, said that looking back, it seems like only yesterday that we began our journey which unfolded in phases, at the Bells University of Technology and finally, here we are today.
“We came, we saw and we conquered,” and thanking the ever sufficient God on behalf of all the graduates.