AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE CHANCELLOR, HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS, ALHAJI (DR) MUHAMMADU ABALI IBN MUHAMMADU IDRISS CON, THE EMIR OF FIKA AND CHAIRMAN, YOBE STATE COUNCIL OF CHIEFS AND EMIRS AT THE 3RD AND 4TH COMBINED CONVOCATION CEREMONY OF FEDERAL UNIVERSITY LOKOJA ON SATURDAY, 14TH DECEMBER, 2019
- Your Excellency, the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari GCFR;
- Your Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello;
- Your Excellencies, Executive Governors present or Representatives;
- Honourable Ministers present or Representatives;
- Your Royal Highnesses;
- Honourable Members of the House of Assembly or Representatives;
- The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Emeritus Professor Nimi Dimkpa Briggs;
- Members of the University Council;
- Members of the University Senate;
- Management, Staff and Students of Federal University Lokoja;
- Parents and Guardians present;
- Distinguished Guests; Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is with a deep sense of humility and total submission to the will of the Almighty Allah that we welcome you all on behalf of the University Management, Staff and Students to another epoch-making occasion, the 3rd and 4th Convocation Ceremony taking place, today, Saturday, 14th December, 2019. We gladly welcome the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR. Your Excellency, the University would continue to count on your support in its efforts to move the University to greater heights. We salute the Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu and the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed who have always shown us the way forward. We appreciate the supervisory and regulatory roles of the Federal Ministry of Education and National Universities Commission in ensuring the maintenance of quality and standard that have culminated in the accreditation of all our programmes. We acknowledge the presence of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kogi State Alhaji Yahaya Bello, Executive Governors present, Honourable Members of the House of Assembly or their Representatives, and all our Distinguished Invited Guests. We thank you all for honouring us with your presence at this occasion marking the third and fourth Combined Convocation of Federal University Lokoja.
We are delighted, as the Chancellor of Federal University Lokoja to welcome all our Invited Guests as we celebrate with Parents/Guardians, Friends of the University, Celebrants, the University Council, Senate, Management and Staff. Sincerely speaking, this is one of my happiest moments, as we are often overwhelmed when our students graduate and are celebrated; It is usually a fulfilling moment, we believe, not only for the graduating students but for me (the Chief Celebrant), Parents, the University Council, Management and Staff. This is indeed, a joyous moment for us all.
We want to assure all our stakeholders that the authority of Federal University Lokoja would continue to do its bit to ensure that our students do not spend extra semester(s) before graduation in a bid to discourage prospective applicants to the University from travelling outside the country for further studies. We equally remain committed in our resolve to move Federal University Lokoja to the next level of physical and academic development.
It is in this respect that having graduated the third set, the University has taken commendable and bold steps to establish the School of Post Graduate Studies, an evidence that the University is coming of age. We are happy that academic activities in the School of Post Graduate Studies have commenced in earnest details of which have been enumerated in the Vice-Chancellor's Speech. New undergraduate programmes and proposals for the establishment of new Faculties and Departments were forwarded to the National Universities Commission and we expect Resource Verification to be conducted in order for approvals to be given for the commencement of twenty nine (29) new programmes in the various Faculties.
Our greatest limitation in our efforts to develop the University is finance which has hampered the expansion of our Programmes and Faculties. The Take-off site is filled up with no space for further expansion, and further developments can only take place here at the Permanent site in Felele. We have made passionate appeals to Government, stakeholders and other philanthropic individuals and organizations for financial support to aid the University to develop structures/facilities at the Permanent site in order to facilitate wholistic movement to the Site, but responses to our appeals have not been very encouraging. As the University strives to get financial support to expand its Programmes and Faculties, or establish more programmes and to embark on structural developments from other stakeholders, we implore the Federal Government to increase allocations to the University for Speedy Development. My speech, in essence is a cry for financial assistance, as we strongly desire to make Federal University Lokoja the cynosure of other Institutions.
We are graduating a total number of 708 Graduands currently in the previous and current Academic Sessions, a clear indication that the University is fast growing and needs to move to a bigger, more spacious and more conducive environment for learning. Applications for admissions into the Programmes run by the University have astronomically increased. Moreover, there have been several calls from members of the public that we commence new Programmes. The Vice-Chancellor has given details of these new programmes in her address.
We felicitate with the celebrants - the graduating sets of 2017/2018 and 2018/2019, and all their parents. We commend the Management and Staff of the University who have worked extra hard to ensure that the 3rd and 4th combined Convocation Ceremony becomes a reality; we thank you all for your commitment. We appreciate the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Angela Freeman Miri, who untiringly supervised the Convocation Planning Committee in order for it to be successful. May Allah reward you all.
The graduating sets of 2018 and 2019, we urge you to always have the fear of the Almighty Allah in all your endeavours and insha Allah you will continue to succeed. The future is bright, so we urge you to avail yourselves of any opportunity that comes your way. Make the best use of any little opportunity and never despise a humble beginning and allow such to slip off. You have every cause to remain grateful to God who graciously granted you success in Federal University Lokoja, so continue to be faithful to Him. We implore you all to be law abiding and well behaved wherever you find yourselves after the mandatory National Youth Service.
Our Distinguished Invited Guests, the Representative of Mr. President, His Excellency, Executive Governor of Kogi State, let me reiterate that we are indeed privileged and honoured to have you grace our occasion - the third and fourth combined Convocation Ceremony of Federal University Lokoja. May the Almighty Allah continue to shower his blessings on you as you travel back to your respective destinations.
Thank you and God bless you all.