A total of 215 students of the Covenant University, Ota in Ogun State were conferred with First Class degrees at its 2018/2019 convocation on Friday.
The Vice-Chancellor, Aaron Atayero, a professor, performed the ceremony during the instititution’s14th Convocation and the Conferment of Honourary Doctorate Degrees, and Presentation of Prizes.
The event took place within the institution’s campus in Ota.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 1,580 students graduated for the academic session.
They comprised: 215 first class honours, 668 second class upper honours, 415 second class lower, nine in third class and 239 post-graduates.
Ajia Motunrayo, a student in the Department of Petroleum Engineering, College of Engineering, emerged the best student with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 5.0.
NAN reports that this was the first time that the institution would be attaining such a feat, the closest being the 2016 convocation where Master Winner Deji-Folutile from Department of Architecture had 4.97.
Mr Atayero, in his address, noted that education is a powerful weapon which can be used to change the world and achieve sustainable economic growth, especially, on the African continent.
“The institution is committed to supporting and encouraging research and development works aimed at providing innovative solutions to societal problems and enhancing the quality of life as enunciated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda,” he said.
The V-C said Covenant University had continued to provide quality education by providing lifelong learning opportunities through granting public access to resources of the institution’s Centre for Learning.
Mr Atayero also said the institution’s curriculum was designed to raise a new generation of leaders who would be spiritually and mentally equipped to restore the dignity of the black man.
Also speaking, the Chancellor of the Institution, David Oyedepo, said there was the need for Nigeria and other African countries to properly fund education so as to achieve meaningful development.
Mr Oyedepo also said there was the need for Africa to build new nations by placing more priority on qualitative education.
“Until one is transformed through education, he or she cannot transform his environment, society or nation,” he said.
The chancellor noted that the only way that Nigeria and other African countries could have equal rights like other great nations and not be seen as second class citizens was through investment in education.
In his keynote address, a former Director of Business Environment, USAID Trade Hub, Accra, Ghana, Monisoye Afolabi, said Africa was likely to have more population than China and India with time.
He said the continent should take advantage of its population and invest in education.
Mr Afolabi stressed the need for African countries to spend 30 per cent of their annual budgets on the education sector in order to ensure self-reliance.
“This is when education can take its rightful place in the development of Africa.” he said.
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abubakar Rasheed, said that the commission would do everything possible to support the 173 universities in the country.
Mr Rasheed also that the commission would support innovative and flexible programmes across the tertiary institutions.
The don commended Covenant University for its excellent performance and its implementation of the strategies designed by the commission for universities in the country.