A total of 871 students graduated over the weekend during the 11th Convocation Ceremony of Benson Idahosa University, with 49 students out of the 871 bagging first class honour degrees, 270 students finished with the second class upper division, 414 students were in the second class lower division, while 50 students bagged third class.
The Vice Chancellor of the Institution while delivering his address at the ceremony, congratulated the graduating students on their mile stone achievement. He however restated Management’s commitment to reducing unemployment and promoting job creation by retaining, and providing immediate employment for some of its first class graduates.
Speaking on the developmental strides made by the institution, Prof. Izevbigie announced that construction work is ongoing at the University’s Okha site for the commencement of the Faculty of Engineering in the 2015/2016 academic session. He said the University continues to make investment in staff development through seminars, workshops, and graduate programmes to acquire additional skills for better service delivery, adding that incentives has been given to long serving staff members, the most recent being the cash gifts of One Million Naira (N.1 Million per staff) who have served 15 years in the University, regardless of their status (academic, non-academic members, artisans, etc.).
The Vice Chancellor also said that the University has commissioned the development of a 5 year strategic plan document on improved security, along with the installation of CCTV cameras across the Campus. He also disclosed that his Alma Mater, Michigan State University is collaborating with Benson Idahosa University to build a Bio-reactor for the conversion of Carbon-based waste into electricity to supply energy needs to the university and the country at large.
Expressing his profound appreciation to God Almighty for the great things He is doing in the institution, to the chancellor for entrusting the mantle of leadership in his hands, and to members of Council, Senate, Staff, Students and the University Community for their support, Prof. Izevbigie urged the graduating students, “Class of Eminence” to be committed to their Alma Mater, by being good ambassadors.
Earlier in her speech, the Chancellor, and Archbishop of Church of God Mission International, Dr. M.E. Benson Idahosa drawing from the University’s ‘Core Values’ and ‘Mission to raise leaders who are complete in spirit, mind and body enjoined the graduating students not to behave like the huge circus elephant which does not break free from the little chain which had held it to a little stick because of its experience from infancy, but go as ambassadors of their Alma Mater, noting that the world expects them to be models and trail blazers.
Meanwhile, the President of the institution, Bishop F.E. Benson Idahosa charged the graduating students to be the best and greatest in all that they do, by moving ahead of what others have done. In his words, “I challenge you not to be the next Obama, Mandela, Steve Jobs, etc. But be a better president, leader, create a better Apple and the world will catch up with you”.
On his part, the Chairman of the University Council, Engr. G.O Isibor, while felicitating with the graduating class urged them to be “Change Ambassadors” to Change Nigeria, and the world at large.
Engr. Isibor announced that the University recently signed an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with ICTU in the United States. According to him, the MOU is to enhance e-learning in the University and to provide e-learning capabilities including CISCO and Microsoft training for both Staff and Students.
The Council boss noted that the University is advancing towards being a completely digitalized institution. He noted that this is evident in the full computerization of the Bursary Department, as well as the processing/ presentation of student’s results during Senate meetings.
Climaxing the 2015 Convocation Ceremony was the 6th edition of the ‘Change Nigeria Award’ conferred on a creative entrepreneurial genius, an innovative investor, a perspicacious risk and insurance Manager, Dr. Akinade Akanmu Ogunbiyi, Founder and Group Managing Director of Mutual Benefit Group, A conglomerate with many subsidies in various real sector of the Nigerian and African economics. He was conferred the, ’Change Nigeria Award’ for his contribution to national transformation in the area of entrepreneurship and job creation.
Ibude, Ben Nkem clinched the President and Vice Chancellor’s prizes, emerging as the overall best graduating student with a CGPA of 4.97 (First Class Honours, Computer Science). He also bagged the Engr. & Dr. Emma Egbagbe’s Prize for the most outstanding student in the Department of Computer Science.
Others who also received awards include; Fianka Diamond who clinched the Rev. (Dr.) Felix Omobude’s Prize for being the most outstanding student in integrity and excellence in academics, Oyedeji Abiodun Oladimeji (Animal Science and Animal Technology) CGPA=4.54, Chinaka Kelechi (International Studies & Diplomacy) CGPA=4.82, Obanor Precious Osarumwense (Business Administration) CGPA=4.95, Irerhievwie Emuesiri Tracy (Faculty of Law) CGPA =4.33, Ekakitie Stephanie Eferhire (School of Post Graduate) Average% score =71.10, Makinwa Ebenezer Oladimeji (Agricultural Science & Animal Technology) CGPA=4.05, Angabo Sarah Tamunotoye (Biochemistry) CGPA=4.87, Chibuzor Cyrian (Microbiology) CGPA=4.77, Oyegoke Olumide Festus (Physics) CGPA=4.85, Muhammed Mahmud Azeez Umar (Mathematics) CGPA=4.85 and Olorunfemi Mercy Eniola (English Studies) CGPA=4.10.
Responding on behalf of the 2015 graduating class, Mr. Ibude Ben Nkem whose outstanding performance attracted instant employment by the University’s Governing Council upon his completion of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) as announced by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Ernest B. Izevbigie, expressed gratitude to the University Management, Staff and Students of the institution, saying that “Benson Idahosa University continues to stand tall as an Iroko tree not just to other tress in Nigeria and Africa, but to the world at large” . He therefore urged his fellow graduating students to defend and protect their Alma Mater at all times.
Mr. Ibude also spoke of the need for the Nigerian Government to encourage and pay greater attention to research and innovation, if Nigeria must be among the top leading countries of the world.
Present at Convocation Ceremony were Vice Chancellors from State, Federal and Private Universities in the country.