The University of Lagos (UNILAG) is set to confer a doctoral degree in Mass Communication on a one-time Daily Times journalist, Mr Michael Dayo Duyile, at its upcoming 53rd convocation ceremonies scheduled to start from January 13.
The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, stated this at a pre convocation news conference to announce activities lined up for the ceremonies, on Tuesday, in Lagos.
According to her, 83-year-old Duyile, in the male category and Bridget Obiageli Okonji, 82, in the female category, are the oldest graduating students to be conferred with such honours at the ceremony.
She said that Duyile was the journalist who covered the opening ceremony of the university on October 3, 1962.
Ogunsola further stated that Okonji would be conferred with an M. Ed. in Guidance and Counseling at the ceremony.
According to her, this year’s ceremony, tagged ‘special convocation’ will witness the awards of degrees for Postgraduate Diploma, Master, Doctorate, as well as honorary Gold Medals.
“ The ceremonies will begin on Friday, January 13, with the commissioning of a Tele-Medicine project, facilitated by the university’s our Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Senator Lanre Tejuoso at the College of Medicine, Idi Araba.
“On the same day, from 1pm to 2pm, a Jumat Service for the ceremonies will take place at the UNILAG Mosque.
“On Tuesday, January 17, the Investiture of the 13th vice chancellor will take place. This will be followed by a convocation lecture at the same venue.
“The lecture will be delivered by Mr Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, the Managing Partner of Grand Central Africa, with almost 30 years of an eclectic career spanning marketing communications, digital design, strategy, software development and digital transformation consulting in private and public sectors,” Ogunsola stated.
According to her, the lecturer who is the current President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) would be speaking on the topic: Finding the Boundaries of the Possible; Venturing Beyond.
Ogunsola noted that she was optimistic that the lecturer would provide insights about the future and broaden the perspective of audience on ways that would assist the university to stimulate discussions/engagement with the private sector as well as the academia.
“This will provide us the platform where we will be looking into the future, where a large percentage of its services and systems will be driven by technology,” she said.
The don said that Mr Fola Adeola, an industry expert, Co-founder of Guaranty Trust Bank and Chairman of FATE Foundation, would be the Chairman at the occasion.
She noted that there would be a convocation play, Femi Osofisan’s Esu and the Vagabond Minstrels, to be presented by the Creative Arts Department after the lecture.
Giving a further breakdown of the convocation ceremonies, Ogunsola said that Postgraduate diplomas, Masters and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) degrees would be conferred on graduates of the institution’s School of Postgraduate Studies on January 18.
She said that there would also be the conferment of Gold Medal Awards on two eminent personalities within the University community.
The don named them as Johnson Olaleru, a celebrated Professor of Mathematics and Prof. Duro Oni, a theatre guru.
“This will be in accordance with the provisions of the University of Lagos Act, which empowers the institution to identify and honour deserving members of the society with proven integrity, who have distinguished themselves in their chosen careers.
“They must have also demonstrated significant contributions in raising the standard of the university, through teaching, research, administration and service to the community.
“This 53rd convocation ceremony which is also a special convocation to mark the university’s 60th anniversary, will formally come to an end on Sunday, January 22, with a Thanksgiving Service at the Chapel of Christ Our Light, in the university,” she stated.
Speaking further, the vice chancellor regretted that the past year had been characterised by various challenges to tertiary institutions in the country.
“The eight months industrial action by employees of Nigeria’s public universities was a great setback to scholarship and if not for the doggedness of the Senate of our university, we would not have been here today.
“To members of Senate here present, I salute your commitment and fidelity to this institution, which has ensured that we have graduating students to celebrate at this year’s Special Convocation Ceremony,” she said.
Ogunsola noted that a total of 2,251 graduating students would receive their degrees, diplomas and certificates.
According to her, out of this number, 67 will receive Postgraduate diplomas, 2,119 others will receive their Masters degrees, while 65 will be honored with Doctorate degrees.
She noted that the overall best Ph.D. Thesis award for this year would go to Ahmed Amoo Yinusa, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering.
Ogunsola said the best Ph.D. Thesis in Humanities award was obtained by Rita KIENKA, Ph.D. Guidance and Counselling , with Yinusa again, obtaining the best Ph.D. Thesis in Science award, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering.
Speaking further, the vice chancellor noted that in the 60 years of the university’s existence, it had recorded remarkable achievements nationally and internationally.
“Our impact as a teaching and learning community, has been felt across all spheres of human endeavour.
“Our scholars (academia and students), strengthened by administrative and technical support from our non-teaching staff, have excelled in teaching and research, promoting sports and culture development as well as innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Indeed, the strength of the university of Lagos system and structures built over these years have enabled each vice chancellor to date, to sustain the gains of previous administrations, while pushing out to find new frontiers in the aspiration to make our institution one of the global best.
“ However, as a university, we are not unmindful of the weaknesses and threats to our endeavours such as poor funding, aging infrastructure, huge costs of public utilities services especially electricity and constant disruptions in the academic calendars occasioned by incessant industrial actions.
“We are also faced with issues bordering on demotivated workforce, inadequate ICT infrastructure, burgeoning student population as a result of massification of higher education without commensurate governmental planning and adequate provisioning of resources as well as widespread national insecurity
“My mission therefore as the 13th vice chancellor is to lead the university of Lagos to take on these challenges, even as we remain undaunted in our continuing quest to be positioned among the best universities in the world,” she stated.
Ogunsola would be presiding at the ceremony in her capacity as vice chancellor, for the first time.
She was appointed vice chancellor of the university on October 8, 2022 by the university‘s council.
She took over from Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, the 12th vice chancellor of institution, whose five-year tenure came to an end on November 12, 2022.