Miss Favour delivering a speech at the ceremony, Wednesday.
Miss Favour delivering a speech at the ceremony, Wednesday.

For the first time in the history of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), two female students have beat their male counterparts to top two spots on the graduation ladder.

According to the information gathered from the school’s Directorate of Academic Affairs, Ibok Favour Asuquo, who studied Accounting and Gabtony Flora Nkeiru from Psychology lead an overall total of 91 graduating students who finished in the First Class division. It was also gathered that the best doctoral candidate is female.

Miss Favour finished with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 4.89 which is a mere but decisive 0.01 more than Miss Flora’s 4.88, to clinch the top spot.

Benson Godwin from the Faculty of Engineering CGPA of 4.87 emerged third best graduating students.

Conflicting information

The development contradicts the information that was given out to journalists at the Pre-Golden Jubilee Press Conference of the university a week ago by the Vice-Chancellor Prof, Rahman Bello, who informed journalists that the three best graduating students were females.

The VC, who amended the error on convocation Day One, as he changed the figure to just two best graduating students in his speech, did not apologise for the misinformation he handed out during the press conference.

That would seem not to be the only discrepancy surrounding the Golden Jubilee Convocation of Nigeria’s number one varsity. It would be recalled that the school, after postponing the announcement of the ceremonies indefinitely, had fix February 7th, 8th and 9th 2013 as the date for the events obviously oblivious of the fact that the third day of the event (February 9th) would be a Saturday.

The VC, with no apology of any allusion to the apparent shift in dates, announced during the pre-convocation press conference that the ceremonies would be held on February 6th, 7th and 8th.

First class decline

In another development, the turn out of first class students took a nose dive as compared to that of the previous year. Out of the 6932 graduates, only 91 finished with CGPA of not less than 4.50 out of a maximum 5.0.

This is a 25.4 per cent dip as compared to last year’s figure of 122 first class students. It would also be recalled that the school produced 119 first class finishers in 2011 which was a 59 per cent increase compared to the previous year of 75 first class students.

The fall in the number of first class students in the Faculty of Engineering, which produced the best graduating students (both males) for the 2011 and 2012 convocation, may be responsible for the dip. The faculty is also notable for churning out the highest number of first class graduates.

UNILAG for ever

The VC, while addressing the golden jubilee convocation audience said if the presidential-approved directive given to him from the federal ministry of education was anything to go by, the name of UNILAG will remain unchanged.

The professor Chemistry was, however, cautious to note that the nomenclature status-quo would be retained only if the law establishing the institution does not undergo any change that could rename it. That seemed to presently favour the school which has a significant number of alumni in the country’s two tier National Assembly.

It would be recalled that the NASS, last year, trashed the name change bill sent to it by the presidency.

UNILAG remains the first Nigerian university to be established by an act of parliament in 1962 and so cannot undergo an arbitrarily name change. Its enacting act requires considerable amendment before the name of the institution can be changed.

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