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Education Glitz, Pomp And Celebration As AKSU Holds 4th & 5th Convocation


… Admits 2000 Graduates To Degrees

By Edidiong Albert


The skyline itself bore witness to the significance of the day’s occasion; the convocation of the Akwa Ibom State University. Not only was the weather clement, it oozed sapphire and other ornamental colours that radiated immense beauty.

As at 11am on Friday, November 8, 2019, innumerable number of visitors, parents/guardians and specially invited guests had thronged the Sports Ground of the university’s main campus at Ikot Akpaden in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area to celebrate with the university, the convocation, which was the fourth and fifth in the series, since it commenced full academic activities some years ago.


The presence of the visitor to the university, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, who led members of his cabinet, and other notable personalities, including a former Military Governor, Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga, really excited the gathering.


Conspicuous too at the auspicious event were members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly led by its Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, state executive members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), led by the State Chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo, serving and past Federal and State legislators, a former federal minister, Rt. Hon. Chief Nduese Essien, royal fathers amongst others.


The fourth and fifth combined convocation had 2000 graduands admitted to various degrees and an honorary degree of doctor of letters, (D. Litt), Honoris Causa, conferred on His Eminence, Nteyin Solomon Daniel Etuk, who is the Oku Ibom Ibibio, Patriarch of Ibibio people worldwide, Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs and the Chancellor of AKSU as well as presentation of prizes.


Out of the 2000 graduands, 41 recorded first class; 509 made second class, upper division; 1095 had second class, lower division; while 351 had third class with four graduates recording pass.



Declaring the convocation opened, His Eminence, Nteyin Solomon Daniel Etuk, JP, in his capacity as the Chancellor, set the tone for proceedings. He said:
“I am very glad to welcome you all to the 4th and 5th combined convocation of the Akwa Ibom State University.


Today’s convocation has been eagerly awaited. It is a dream come true; a moment of celebration for our University, most especially the graduands and their parents/guardians as well as the Government and the public.


For me, my joy knows no bounds. It is my first participation after my memorable installation as the Chancellor of the University on Thursday, October 31, 2019.
Once again, I wish to thank the Visitor to the University, His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel and his administration for deeming it fit to offer me the opportunity to serve as the second Chancellor of AKSU.


On behalf of the entire University Community, welcome the Visitor to the University, Governor Udom Emmanuel, his wife, Dr. (Deaconess) Martha Udom Emmanuel and his entourage, Your Excellencies and Distinguished Guests to this auspicious occasion, the University deeply appreciates you all for coming to share with us the joy of this auspicious occasion.


Akwa Ibom State University has brought tremendous benefits to our people, the state and our nation as a whole. Not only has it offered more opportunities for our sons and daughters to be educated, the university has also generated employment opportunities and created landmark development within its operational bases in Mkpat Enin L.G.A., our Main Campus and Oruk Anam L.G.A., where we have the Obio Akpa Campus.
The successful journey of AKSU has come through the consistent commitment and support of the Akwa Ibom State Government. As glaringly witnessed, Governor Udom Emmanuel has remained very committed in offering the University the needed inputs for it to function optimally. Thank you, our dear Governor.


I wish to commend the Vice Chancellor, Professor Eno Ibanga and the university’s management team and all our dedicated Staff for their commitment in making AKSU a great institution and ensuring that our students truly graduate in character and learning, thereby making them to be fulfilled in life as well as impact on our state and nation.


Without romanticizing, Professor Eno Ibanga is a diligent administrator. He is passionate, innovative and industrious; virtues that have enabled him to lead the Senate, Management and Staff of the university to achieve the renaissance that we have witnessed in this institution. His leadership has ensured the successful accreditation of several undergraduate programmes by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the building of several new structures across the University.


Permit me to acknowledge the contributions of my predecessor, the 1st Chancellor, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Najib Hussaini Adamu, CON, the Emir of Kazaure during his tenure in the University.


I cannot fail to commend our host communities for maintaining a harmonious relationship with the University. This has helped in ensuring stability within the University and its environs. Most worthy of our commendation too are the graduating students, on whose stead, we have gathered today. I commend them for their academic accomplishments. I encourage them not to see this level of attainment as the ultimate but to strive forward for continuous learning, personal development and utilization of their innate talents. Let me reassure the Visitor to the University of our commitment to ensure that AKSU, as a reputable institution, continues to maintain enviable standards in line with the University’s mission of “Knowledge and Technology for Development”.


I wish to make a clarion call to donor agencies, development partners, well-meaning individuals, socio-cultural groups and indigenes of Akwa Ibom State both home and in the diaspora to contribute significantly to the growth of the AKSU. AKSU is our pride. It can only become all that we want it to be. On our part, we are ever ready to maximize investments made to ensure that AKSU is truly a citadel of knowledge.


I wish to convey to you all the felicitations of Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs, Ifim Ibom Ibibio (Supreme Council of Ibibio Traditional Rulers), Nsit Ubium Traditional Rulers Council, my dear wife, Akwa Obonganwan Philomena Etuk, my family as a whole as well as friends and associates within and outside our clime.
I deeply appreciate the gesture of AKSU for conferring on me, the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa.”





The Pro Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Engr. Samuel E. Inyang, OON, TMA further espoused the significance of the event. He stated:
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the year 2019 is a memorable year for AKSU being its 10th anniversary as a university; and now we have this 4th & 5th combined Convocation to celebrate it. Within 10 short years of existence, the University has recorded landmark successes in various areas of its activities. I can say with confidence that AKSU has become one of the fastest citadels of learning, with excellence and integrity, in Nigeria. This growth cuts across all aspects of the University system, and is geared towards entrenching functional education now generations yet unborn. Our vision is to sustain high academic standard, promote a culture of production-driven research, and assure practical learning experience for all students to become agents of dynamic change in the society.
In spite of lean resources during the 10 years, AKSU has achieved among other things:


i. Increase in number of Faculties from the initial 6 (six) to 8 (eight) with all 38 (thirty-eight) programmes accorded full accreditation status by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
ii. In line with NUC guidelines, AKSU received approval to commence the School of Postgraduate Studies (SPGS) after the successful graduation of more than three sets of graduates. The Resource Verification visit by NUC for the takeoff of the Post Graduate School has given approval for its commencement with initial 65 (sixty-five) programmes.
iii. Establishment of a functional commercial farm venture with various farming activities. Our plan is to upscale production therefrom so as to attract domestic and foreign investors to our State.


We thank the 2nd Governing Council and University Management for the solid foundation laid and achievements therefrom.
For lack of time, I cannot mention many other areas which the University has made its mark and received accolades within the last few years. However, in spite of these successes, it is pertinent to mention that AKSU has some challenges which have affected the pace of development.


Our top challenge is the movement of the University’s Main Campus to its Permanent Site. It is our desire that construction work should commence without delay so as to position the University for faster development. To facilitate this, certain basic infrastructure need to be in place, namely:
1. Construction of Main Entrance Complex.
2. Opening of Access Roads to and within the Permanent Site.
3. Water works and reticulation at the Permanent Site.
4. Extension and boosting of Power Supply at the Permanent Site.
5. Construction of a University Auditorium, Senate Building and Faculty Building.
6. Construction of Lecture Theatres and Library Building.
7. Construction of Sports/Recreation Centre.
8. Completion of Students Hostels and building new ones.


9. Central Sewage System, as well as an Integrated Waste Management System.
Considering the growth rate of the University, and the competing demands for provision of basic infrastructure to enhance teaching, learning and research, payment of allowances and arrears, there is an urgent need for an upward review of the University’s Monthly Subvention. This will go a long way in enabling the University to meet its needs and responsibilities as well as stand strong as a University to be reckoned with.
Your Excellency Sir, I do not wish to bore you with our challenges on a happy day like this. Rather, as a University, we identify wholeheartedly with your administration and the laudable developmental strides that you have made to move Akwa lbom State forward. The rate of growth and development across our State, and even of our University, over the last few years is remarkable despite the present economic realities in our country. These are clear indications of your visionary leadership in changing the orientation of Akwa lbom people towards industrialization for the overall growth and development of our dear State and inculcating the ‘Dakkada’ spirit in the lives of Akwa lbom People.




Exuding deep joy on the milestone accomplishment, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Eno James Ibanga, fnip, said in his speech:
“Since assuming office in 2015, we have changed the narratives of the University and actualized its core values of accountability, transparency, innovation, excellence, equal opportunities, integrity and cooperation, among others. These have been the fuel of the system and the results have translated into excellent level of growth to the extent that when compared with its peers, Akwa Ibom State University towers above all and is on the threshold of a world class University.

The areas of achievement include, inter alia, student enrolment and welfare staff strengths and their academic development and welfare, academic programmes, accreditation, infrastructure, projects and utilities, and community relations. These areas have experienced enhanced sustainability and maintenance, thanks to visionary Management Team, cooperation of staff, the Dakkada philosophy of this administration and above all the superlative interest of the Visitor, our dear and amiable Governor, in the growth and development of the University. At this Convocation, I will focus attention on new development since the 2nd and 3rd Convocation in May, 2017.


Academic Programmes, Accreditation And Achievements
The University now has eight (8) Faculties as against six (6) during the last convocation. In addition to the Faculties of Agriculture, Arts, Education and Engineering, the new Faculties are Faculty o Social Sciences, Faculty of Management Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences and Faculty of Physical Sciences. The Faculty of Management Sciences was split from the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences. The programmes in the Faculty of Management Science are Accounting, Business Management, Marketing and Public Administration while the Faculty of Social Sciences has such programmes as Economics, Mass Communication am Political Science.


The former Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences has been split into two (2) Faculties, namely Faculty of Biological Sciences and Faculty of Physical Sciences. The programmes in the Faculty of Biological Sciences include Botany, Marine Biology, Microbiology, Genetics and Biotechnology, and Zoology while the programmes in the Faculty of Physical Sciences an Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics and Statistics. On account of the rearrangement and changes, the National Universities Commission (NUC) has been invited for the re-accreditation of these programmes.


The imperatives of splitting these faculties are predicated on the need to standardize the academic programmes of the University in line with conventional norms and international best practice. All programmes of the University, except Fisheries and Aquaculture which is, relatively new programme in the Faculty of Agriculture, have attained full accreditation status with some programmes scoring as high as 97.5 per cent.


Infrastructure, Projects And Utilities
On behalf of the University Community, I thank the Visitor to the University most sincerely for changing the face of the landscape of the University, especially at the Obio Akpa Campus.


Obio Akpa Campus is located in a landscape of rolling hills which needed to be developed such that the eyes cannot fail to behold series of seductive sceneries and surrealistic beauty of the campus. I am happy to announce here that, the Visitor to Akwa Ibom State University, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, the progressive Governor of the state has constructed all the internal roads in Obio Akpa Campus and these are arresting additions to the rich profile of the Campus.


Within the period, the Faculty of Management Sciences Complex has been added to the university. This complex houses the Dean’s Office and other Staff Offices, The Accounting Laboratory, Econometrics Laboratory and the Marketing Laboratory which are all fully equipped to meet modem day training requirements for those programmes. There is also a Smart Classroom which is to drive the collaboration programmes with international community as lectures will be held real time between AKSU and the collaborating institutions.


The funding by the State Government through releases for the reaccreditation of our programmes has enabled us to upgrade the facilities in the faculties that require reaccreditation of their programmes and this is continuous.
I must also at this point thank the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) for its intervention in Akwa Ibom State University during the period under review. In our effort to move into the permanent site of the university, all approved projects by TETFund are located there; of significance is the Faculty of Biological Sciences Complex (phase I) which is a massive two-storey building which, at completion will change the landscape of AKSU.


There is also the School of Postgraduate Studies and the Entrepreneurial Centre building going on at the permanent site as well. Let me also thank friends of the University who have attracted TETFund Special and Zonal interventions to the University.


Finally, I must at this point mention the contribution of the Immediate Past Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State University Governing Council, Obong (Engr.) Asuquo Stephen Udofia, who as the Chairman of Desicon Group of Companies, donated a fully furnished hostel with 52 en-suite rooms for Postgraduate students of this great institution. We are sincerely grateful. He was the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of Akwa Ibom State University between 2014 and 2018. The building is ready for use by our Postgraduate students.


Facilities For Security Operations
Security is everybody’s business, and the university also had its own challenges. We have operated zero tolerance to examination misconduct, cultism and other vices in the University. In order to strengthen the physical security in our University, we have bought two (2) Patrol vehicles for Police surveillance in the two campuses. Reports indicate that this act was a piece of good judgement which has not only been appreciated by members of the university community and the Police but has also reduced incidents of crimes and malpractices in the University and its environs.


Commencement Of Postgraduate Programmes


I am happy to inform members of the university community that beginning from the 2019/2020 session later in November of this year, Akwa Ibom State University shall commence Postgraduate Studies in more than 90 per cent of its academic programmes. The university has since advertised the programmes and I am happy to announce that so far many prospective candidates have bought, filled and returned the Postgraduate Forms and are awaiting admission. The University also has resourceful faculty members for Postgraduate programmes and it is our aspiration to become one of the foremost centres of Postgraduate studies in Africa. It is needless to add here that all of the advertised programmes have been accredited by the National University Commission (NUC). Every year we shall expand the programmes to include new ones.
Collaborations And Linkages
Akwa Ibom State University has Collaborations, Linkages and Partnership with the following institutions and corporate bodies:
1. University of lnnsbruck, Austria
2. University of Bradford, United Kingdom
3. Temple University, United States of America
4. Harvest-Plus International on Biofortification of Crops
5. CEMOUA on Cassava production (Outgrowers Scheme)
6. Chinese Academy of Science in the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Guangdong, China.



The 4th And 5th Combined Convocation
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, the 4th Convocation is for students who completed their academic programmes in the 2016/2017 academic year while the 5th Convocation is of students who completed their academic programmes in the 2017/2018 academic year.


A total of 920 graduands completed their academic programmes in the 2016/2017 academic year and a detailed breakdown is thus:
First Class Honours – – 15
Second Class Upper Division – 222
Second Class Lower Division – – 520
Third Class – – 162
Pass – – – – 1

For the 20l7/2018 academic session, a total of 1080 graduands completed their academic programmes and the breakdown is thus:
First Class Honours – – 26
Second Class Upper Division – 287
Second Class Lower Division – 575
Third Class – – – 189
Pass – – – – 3


The joy in the heart of the Visitor, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel was quite noticeable. In his speech at the occasion, his mode resonated thus:
“To the excited and obviously exhilarated graduands of the combined Class of 2019, let me congratulate you all for the success you have attained today. It took passion, discipline, commitment and the drive to succeed for you to have achieved this feat. You must and should feel very happy and proud of yourselves, same way I believe your parents must also feel.
As you step out to face the world and chart the course of your lives, let me give you a few insights into the world you are going to encounter. The world you are about to step into is not defined by the comforting instruments of community; it does not owe you anything – therefore, you do not have any sense of entitlement to its vast opportunities. It is fiercely competitive and it is only the brave, the innovative and those imbued with the spirit of drive and dare that will luxuriate in its endless possibilities.
The world you are about to step into, in terms of geographical spread, may be vast and hugely expansive but in terms of the appropriation of its resources and opportunities, it is unfortunately very small and shrinking – thanks to globalization. You must therefore, excel beyond the ordinary to be a full partaker of its feast of opportunities and the pursuits of the inherent layers of happiness.
The speeches received applauses, as the graduands beautifully dressed in gowns, sat orderly. As the Chancellor, His Eminence, Nteyin Solomon earlier said, the convocation was eagerly awaited. It was a dream come true and a moment of celebration for the University, most especially the graduands and their parents/guardians as well as the government and the public.
Truly, the fourth and fifth convocation went down as something to remember.

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