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Published on: Sat, 14 Dec 2019 19:05:30

Convocation Address Delivered by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Angela F. Miri at the 3rd & 4th Combined Convocation Ceremony Held on Sat, 14th Dec, 2019 at the Permanent Site, Felele

AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE VICE-CHANCELLOR PROFESSOR ANGELA FREEMAN MIRI ON THE OCCASION OF THE 3RD AND 4TH COMBINED CONVOCATION CEREMONY OF FEDERAL UNIVERSITY LOKOJA HELD ON SATURDAY, 14TH DECEMBER, 2019 AT THE PERMANENT SITE, FELELE, ALONG LOKOJA-OKENE ROAD, KOGI STATE

With gratitude to the Almighty God, I formally welcome all our Invited Guests on behalf of the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council and other distinguished members of Council, Senate, Management, Staff and Students of this great University to our 3rd and 4th Combined Convocation Ceremony. We are grateful to all our dignitaries who came from far and near to honour our invitation and for your demonstration of goodwill towards the University. Our most respected Chancellor, His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr) Muhammadu Abali Ibn Muhammadu Idriss CON, I most happily welcome you, Sir to the combined Convocation. Let me warmly welcome the Visitor to the University, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ably represented by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed MNI, MFR, FNAL. We are equally grateful to the Executive Governor of Kogi State and his Cabinet (or their Representatives) for honouring our invitation despite his busy schedules. I sincerely welcome our hard working and indefatigable Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Emeritus Professor Nimi Dimkpa Briggs OON, MBBS, FWACS and all the members of the Governing Council, present here.

Visiting Vice-Chancellors and Registrars of sister Universities and Royal Fathers, we appreciate your presence and thank you for your continuous supports. All our invited guests, parents, guardians, staff, students and friends, I most sincerely welcome you as we celebrate this momentous occasion.

The Visitor, Sir, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, the 3rd and 4th Combined Convocation Ceremony represents another milestone in the history of Federal University Lokoja. Let me digress a little but just to inform you that the University Authority had to postpone the Third Convocation scheduled last year in 2018 due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control.

Let me use this golden opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to our Convocation Lecturer, Professor William B. Quirix, Vice-Chancellor, Bingham University, Karu, Nasarawa State for his scintillating, topical Convocation Lecture entitled: "Transformation and Entrepreneurship as Hallmarks of the 21st Century University Education in Nigeria". The lecture was very interesting, captivative and educative. We thank you immensely.

I would like to equally express my profound gratitude to our Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Emeritus Professor Nimi Dimkpa Briggs, the External and Internal members of Council for their selfless service to Federal University Lokoja. Thank you, all.

Celebrating our Graduating Students

On 4th November, 2017, the Federal University Lokoja graduated a total of 285 students who were found worthy in character and learning. During this 3rd and 4th Combined Convocation Ceremony of the Federal University Lokoja, a total number of 708 students will be graduating, who have been found worthy in character and learning to be admitted to First Degrees of this prestigious University.

The breakdown of the Classification of the Degrees by Faculties and Departments is as follows:

3rd Set:

Faculty of Arts

S/No

Department

No. of Graduands

First Class

1

English & Literary Studies

25

Nil

2

History & International Studies

25

Nil

 

Faculty of Social Sciences

S/No

Department

No. of Graduands

First Class

1

Economics

45

7

2

Geography

15

1

3

Political Science

35

1

 

Faculty of Science

S/No

Department

No. of Graduands

First Class

1

Biological sciences

27

3

2

Chemistry

16

Nil

3

Computer Science

31

3

4

Geology

20

1

5

Mathematical Sciences

20

2

6

Physics

14

Nil

Total Graduands = 273

18 Nos. graduated in the First Class Division
119 Nos graduated in the 2nd Class Upper Division
100 Nos graduated in the 2nd Class Lower Division
32 Nos graduated in the 3rd  Class Division
4 Nos graduated with Pass

 

4th Set:

Faculty of Arts

S/No

Department

No. of Graduands

First Class

1

English & Literary Studies

44

Nil

2

History & International Studies

59

Nil

 

Faculty of Social Sciences

S/No

Department

No. of Graduands

First Class

1

Economics

59

1

2

Geography

35

Nil

3

Political Science

65

Nil

 

Faculty of Science

S/No

Department

No. of Graduands

First Class

1

Biological sciences

45

4

2

Chemistry

26

1

3

Computer Science

50

3

4

Geology

16

0

5

Mathematical Sciences

24

2

6

Physics

12

Nil

Total Graduands = 435

11 Nos graduated in the First Class Division
150 Nos graduated in the 2nd Class Upper Division
229 Nos graduated in the 2nd Class Lower Division
40 Nos graduated in the 3rd  Class Division
5 Nos graduated with Pass

 

Overall Summary of the Classification of Degrees:

Out of the 708 graduating students,
29 Nos are graduating with First Class Honours Degree
269 Nos are graduating with Second Class (Upper) Degree
329 Nos are graduating with Second Class (Lower) Degree
72 Nos are graduating with Third Class Degree
9 Nos graduated with Pass.

I congratulate our graduating students on your success and I rejoice with you warmly because all your efforts and perseverance over the years have finally yielded the much desired results culminating in the award of Degrees to you today. I must advise you that as you go into the world always remember that as graduates of Federal University Lokoja you should strive to uphold the morals, values and ethics which the University has inculcated in you. Once again, Congratulations.

Some Major Accomplishments:

May I use this opportunity to intimate our Distinguished Guests of some of our major accomplishments and update you on some of our ongoing projects in the University.

Movement to Permanent Site:

I am glad to inform our visitors that 11th December, 2019, marked our formal movement to the Permanent site of Federal University Lokoja. The University Governing Council had its meeting on 11th December, 2019 at the Permanent Site in Felele.

Inaugural Lectures:

As is the usual practice in Universities globally, the Federal University Lokoja held its 2nd Inaugural Lecture entitled: "Mathematical Fixation Algorithm for Corruption" which was delivered by Professor Joseph Olorunju Omolehin. The lecture has been adjudged to be of immense benefits in crime prevention.

Remedial Science and Consultancy Programmes

I would like to inform our Distinguished Guests of the proposal for the establishment of Consultancy Services in the following programmes:

  1. ICT programme in Information Technology such as:
  2. Certificate Course in Desktop Publishing
  3. Certificate Course in Word Processing
  4. Certificate Course in Data Processing
  5. Certificate Course in Web/Graphic Design
  6. Diploma in Data Processing
  7. Diploma in Hardware maintenance
  8. 3 months proficiency Diploma in Teaching Language and Literature
  9. One month proficiency Course in Communication Skills
  10. Remedial Programmes
  11. Certificate Programme in Drama and Film Production
  12. Certificate Course in Journalism

I am delighted to inform you that Remedial Science Programmes commenced in the 2018/2019 Academic Session and the students have been receiving lectures at the Permanent site in Felele; arrangements for the commencement of Consultancy Programmes listed above have been concluded.

Since my assumption of duty it has been my desire that Federal University Lokoja begins operation at the Permanent site where opportunities, especially with respect to the vast space for fast and steady development, abound.

Establishment of the School of Post Graduate Studies

I did mention in my previous Convocation Speech that we shall commence Post Graduate Programmes. I am pleased to inform you that sequel to the proposal made by the University Management to the Senate of the University for the establishment of the School of Post Graduate Studies, approval was given by the National Universities Commission (NUC) after a Resource Verification Exercise. Post Graduate Programmes in the following areas are available for interested persons or candidates to pursue their careers in any of these fields:

  1. PGD Economics
  2. PGD Economic Planning and Development
  3. PGD Taxation and Fiscal Policy
  4. PGD Peace and Conflict Studies
  5. PGD Legislative Studies
  6. PGD Environmental Management and Conservation
  7. PGD Fisheries and Aquaculture
  8. PGD Chemistry
  9. PGD Computer Science
  10. PGD Applied Geology
  11. PGD Mathematics
  12. PGD Statistics

Master and Ph.D Programmes

The School of Post Graduate Studies have advertised for the admission of candidates into the Master and PhD Programmes in the Faculties of Arts, Social Sciences and Science. Admission exercise for the admissions of eligible candidates into the Master and PhD Programmes for the 2019/2020 academic session has been concluded and successful candidates have been duly notified so as to commence lectures in December, 2019. The beginning of Post Graduate Programmes is again, another important milestone in the history of Federal University Lokoja as this  would definitely afford Federal University Lokoja the opportunity to live up to its tripartite functions of Teaching, Research and Community Development. In spite of the daunting challenges encountered due to limited resources that has adversely affected the provision of more facilities in the University, the Management of the University remains committed in its resolve to move Federal University Lokoja to a higher level academically and administratively.

Commencement of New Undergraduate Programmes and Establishment of Faculties/Departments

The University is set to invite the National Universities Commission (NUC) for Resource Verification of the 29 new programmes approved by the Commission as follows:

Faculties/Programmes

(1) Faculty of Arts

      i. B.A Theatre Arts

      ii. B.A Archaeology

(2) Faculty of Social Science

       i. B.Sc Sociology

       ii. B.Sc Mass Communication

 (3) Faculty of Science

      i. B.Sc Botany

      ii. B.Sc Biochemistry

      iii. B.Sc Microbiology

      iv. B.Sc Zoology

      v. B.Sc Biotechnology

      vi. B.Sc Industrial Chemistry

 (4) Faculty of Management Sciences

       i. B.Sc Accounting

       ii. B.Sc Banking and Finance

       iii. B.Sc Business Administration

       iv. B.Sc Public Administration

(5) Faculty of Education-

Arts and Social Science Education

      i. B.A(Ed) English

      ii. B.A(Ed) History

      iii. B.Sc(Ed) Economics

      iv. B.Sc(Ed) Geography

       v. B.Sc(Ed) Political Science

Education

       vi. B.Ed Guidance and Counseling

       vii. B.Ed. Integrated Science

       viii. B.Ed. Social Sciences

Library and Information Science

       ix. BLIS. Library and Information Science

Science Education

       x. B.Sc (Ed)Biology

       xi. B.Sc (Ed)Chemistry

       xii. B.Sc(Ed) Computer Science

       xiii. B.Sc(Ed) Mathematics

       xiv. B.Sc(Ed)Physics

Vocational and Technical Education

       xv. B.(Ed) Business Education

I am happy to inform you that in addition to the existing programmes, we have offered admission to interested candidates in the areas mentioned.

Full Accreditation of Programmes in the Faculties of Arts, Social Sciences and Science

All the Programmes run before the introduction of the 29 new programmes in the Faculties of Arts, Social Sciences and Science have received full accreditation. We are committed to sustaining the highest standards of all our Academic programmes that would guarantee full accreditation at all times.

Recruitment of Academic and Non-Teaching Staff

In a bid to meet up the manpower needs of Federal University Lokoja, we have equally increased our staff strength with the recent recruitment of academic and Non-Teaching staff that have since joined the services of the University.

Notable Achievements through the TETFund Intervention

We have, in addition, recorded the following achievements through the TETFund sponsored projects:

Completion of the following Physical Projects under the year 2014 TETFund Special Intervention:

  1. Two (2) lecture Theatres with 350 seating capacity
  2. Departmental Office Block

Completion of the following Physical Projects under the year 2014 TETFund Annual Intervention:

  1. Ultra modern Laboratories/ Block of Classrooms
  2. Departmental Office Block
  3. Multi-Purpose Hall

Some other notable projects either completed or on-going are as follows:

  1. Rehabilitation of the Internal Road Network in the Adankolo Campus (Take-off site) - completed.
  2. Re-Roofing and Renovation of Senate/Council Chamber in the Adankolo Campus (Take-off Site) - completed.
  3. Construction of the University Drama Village at the Permanent site (on-going).
  4. Site clearing, Construction of Drainages, Culverts and Fumigation works at the Permanent site (on-going).
  5. Construction of University Gate, Gate House and Mini Perimeter Fence at the Permanent site (on-going).
  6. Construction of one (1) Block of Four (4) Classrooms at the Permanent site (completed).
  7. Construction of Dual Carriage Road, Back filling, Drainage and Culverts at the Permanent site (on-going).
  8. Construction of three (3) Block of eight (8) units Lavatory at the Permanent site (on-going).
  9. Construction of two(2) Blocks of eight (8) units Lavatory at the Permanent site (on-going).
  10. Construction of 12 Nos Classrooms under the NEEDS Assessment Intervention (completed).
  11. Construction of Block of Classrooms and Laboratories at the Adankolo Campus (Take-off site) - completed
  12. Construction of Student Multipurpose Centre at the Adankolo Campus (Take-off site) - completed.
  13. Construction of Departmental Office Block at the Adankolo Campus (Taake-off site) - completed.
  14. Procurement of a brand new Yutong 33-Seater Bus for the students.

 Academic Staff Training & Development (Study Fellowship)

  • Academic staff of various Departments were awarded Foreign Study Fellowship to pursue Ph.D programmes in their respective fields through TETFund intervention
  • Some Academic Staff were awarded Local Study Fellowships to pursue their Ph.D Progrmmes through TETFund Sponsorship.

TETFund Conferences and Workshops Attendance

118 Staff (Teaching & Non-Teaching) were successfully sponsored to attend Local and International Conferences/Workshops.

TETFund Academic Research Journals

The following Faculty Journals were being sponsored by TETFund

  1. Journal of Research and Development in Arts and Social Sciences- Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  2. Confluence Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences- Faculty of Science

We are striving to increase and improve on the existing Facilities and to equally lay emphasis on staff Training and Development so that the University would be able to cope with the increasing number of students.

Remodelling and Expansion of University Health Services Centre

The University Health Services Medical Centre was hitherto a "3 bed clinic" which  Management considered paramount to expand and remodel in order to meet up with the growing number of staff and students, but to handle more complicated health related issues/specialized cases would be referred to the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja or Kogi State Specialist Hospital. The remodelled and expanded Medical Centre which would be equipped with modern facilities will equally serve the neighbouring community. The facility comprises Theatre, Delivery Suite, Call rooms, Laundry Room, Emergency Room, Paediatric Wards, Female Wards, Male Wards, Pharmacy, Consulting Rooms, Offices and e-Medical records, Server Room amongst others. Thus, facility was commissioned on Thursday, 26th September, 2019.

University Library

The Library, being the heart of the University has also built up its collection of books to nine thousand (9000) titles; we have equipped the Library to the level that Undergraduates, Masters and Ph.D students can carry out studies in diverse fields without much stress as the researchers would find in our collections latest and relevant materials. The Library is equally open to those who are neither staff nor students, provided they would abide by our rules and regulations. We have acquired bindery equipment to enable Library carryout book mending and bindery services for staff, students and the host Community. This bindery service has therefore been expanded to provide revenue for the University.

Memoranda of Understanding (MoU)

The University has signed several Memoranda of Understanding within and outside the country all in our bid to promote research and internationalization. During the Morgan State University Sesquicentennial (150 years) celebration, I, on behalf of Federal University Lokoja signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the global event. Staff and students of our University can now apply for higher degrees to study at this world renowned Research based University.

We have also signed MoU with Nigeria Metrological Agency (NiMET, an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the Ministry of Aviation, to promote capacity of the University with regards to providing necessary tools for the delivery of products and services to different sectors connected to Meteorology/Climatology and climate change in the country. NiMet and FUL, again agreed to collaborate in the areas of researches that could result in high quality output in meteorology/climatology and climate change. NiMet would provide facilities like observatory station in the right location in FUL and has agreed to train University personnel to operate it. The University and environs are already benefitting from the weather reports generated by the Department of Geography. Another MoU was signed with the Galilee International Institute to promote research.

Promotion of Staff

Promotion of eligible staff members is a top priority of the University Management and Council; therefore, we have ensured that staff members are promoted as at when due. The University Governing Council had in the 2017 and 2018 promotion exercises approved the promotion of 292 staff members.

Graduation and Admission of Fresh Candidates

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 will award First Degrees to our 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 Graduands today 14th December, 2019.  I have always reiterated the fact that Students of Federal University Lokoja would always graduate in record time and to God be the glory, we are graduating two sets exactly two (2) years after the last Convocation.  The University has thus maintained a stable Academic Calendar which I believe is one of the motivating factors that has inspired many candidates to choose Federal University Lokoja as their University of first choice. In 2019/2020 Academic Session we had received so far over 2,600 applications and only 1,500 will be admitted based on our limited carrying capacity.

Relationship with Host Communities

The University Management has, since my assumption of duty established cordial relationship with the immediate host Communities, Adankolo, Felele and other communities in Lokoja and environs. We have realized that these host communities are stakeholders that would readily give their support especially with respect to promoting enduring peace that will enhance steady development of the University. Hence, our partnership. 

Conclusion

In closing, let me acknowledge that the success that we have all witnessed today by the grace of God became possible due to the efforts and cooperation of Federal University Lokoja staff who were mobilised and who served in various Committees to ensure a successful ceremony. I am personally indebted to you for your efforts. May God bless you all.

Finally, I am appreciative of the esteemed presence of all our dignitaries, graduands, staff and students, families and friends of the University. As you will be returning back to your various destinations, it is my wish that the divine presence of God shall grant you journey mercies. We are indeed, very grateful.

Thank you and God bless.