By Chinyere Nwachukwu
The University of Lagos says it will be graduating over 8,000 students during its 2017/2018 academic session convocation ceremonies scheduled for April 1 to April 5.
The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
He said that the university would on Friday, March 8, hold a special Senate meeting to consider results.
NAN reports that the convocation ceremonies, the 50th, initially scheduled to hold from Jan.21, could not take place as a result of the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) that lasted for more than two months.
According to Ogundipe, arrangements for the successful hosting of the ceremony have now been concluded.
He said that activities lined up for the week-long event include a news conference scheduled for Wednesday, March 27.
The vice chancellor said that graduating students were expected to attend the ceremony on the dates scheduled for their respective faculties.
He said that the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, would on April 1, deliver the convocation lecture, titled: Nigeria Rising: The Path to Prosperity.
“We are fully ready and excited that the event will eventually hold.
“We are going to start the event proper with the lecture to be delivered by one of our own, in the person of the Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo.
“We are also expecting Prince Arthur Eze to chair the occasion, just as we are also expecting the Vice President of the Republic of the Gambia, Hon. Ousainou Darboe, an alumnus of the institution.
“This time around, we are going to introduce a new concept to the graduating students at the faculty levels, whereby they will go to their respective faculties ahead of their own convocation, and do what we call hooding.
“For instance, the students of the Faculty of Science will go to the Faculty a day before their scheduled date of their own convocation, and do the hooding ceremony. Same for those in the Faculty of Education, Law, and others,’’ he said.
The don said that the long service award would come up on the last day of the ceremonies.
Meanwhile, Ogundipe explained that he was looking forward to the inauguration of key projects that were nearing completion on the campus by the VP, Osinbajo, during the ceremony.
“We actually have various projects that are ongoing on campus, among which is the CBN project, donated by the CBN to this institution.
“This project comprises lecture rooms that are going to be of the 21st generation standard, IT compliant whereby one can be in the US for instance and be delivering lectures to students over here seamlessly.
“We also have the new Pharmacy Building and the Faculty of Social Science lecture rooms, the Fire Station and the Library.
“All these are still under construction and they are progressing well, except for the library that we had issues with.
“Sometime ago, we experienced a partial collapse of the structure, and from the angle of the contractor, I am not an expert in that field, the project is slow, not as fast as we thought it should be,’’ the vice chancellor said.
According to him, the project ought to have been completed, but those handling the job asked for more time which the university management graciously granted.
“Over a week ago, we experienced the collapse of the ‘form’ work, because according to them, it was mounted over two weeks before the collapse.
“And because they had mounted this ‘form’, they were supposed to have tested it to see if it could absorb the weight of what would be placed on it subsequently.
“They just added the concrete to it and the result was the collapse, but thankfully, nobody was injured,’’ he said.