THE Vice Chancellor, Abia State University, Uturu, Prof. Onyemachi Ogbulu, said 17 of the 3,724 graduating students of the institution got First Class Honours.
Ogbulu disclosed this on Tuesday at a news conference to herald the activities lined up for the 29th Convocation of the university.
A breakdown of the prospective graduates showed that 1,160 students bagged Second Class Honours, Upper Division.
Also, 2004 students and 110 students bagged Second Class Honours (Lower Division) and Third Class Honours, respectively, while three graduated with a Pass.
The list also includes 77 Doctor of Philosophy, 138 Masters, 44 Post Graduate Diploma and 101 Medicine and Surgery (Unclassified) as well as 68 Optometry (Unclassified).
Ogbulu said that other activities for the three-day ceremony include a Pre-Convocation Lecture to be delivered by human rights Lawyer, Mr Mike Ozekhome (SAN) on Thursday.
He said this would be followed on Friday by the award of degrees and higher degrees.
He said that the university would also present prizes and honorary degrees on some distinguished Nigerians, including Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers.
Others recipients are Ozekhome, Chief Reginald Stanley, Mrs Folurunsho Alakija and Chief Aigboji Aig-Imoukhuade.
The vice chancellor also listed some of the projects executed by his two-year-old administration through the intervention of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.
He said the projects include an academic staff complex, offices for former vice chancellors and some distinguished professors and new Department of Optometry Block.
Others were the ring road and installation of 500kva transformer at the Umuahia Campus of the institution.
He said that his administration also completed a Medical Centre and Information and Communication Centre and University Auditorium at the Osisioma-Aba Campus.
He said that the projects would be inaugurated during the convocation by Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu.
He thanked the governor, Uturu host community, vigilante group for collaborating with security agencies to restore peace and security within the university community.
He said that the proactive security measures put in place had helped to tackle the incessant kidnapping around the Okigwe-Uturu axis.
Tje VC expressed delight that the automated processes of collecting Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) had also helped to block the leakages with a substantial boost in revenue.
He said that about 85 per cent of the revenue used to run the university was coming from IGR, while 15 was State government’s subvention.
“This is the reason I commit more time, energy and resources chasing the IGR, while I happily collect the subvention anytime it comes,” Ogbulu said.
He said that the university was up and doing to clear the arrears of salaries, which resulted from the closure of the university during the COVID-19 and eight-month-old strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
He gave assurance that the outstanding arrears would be fully liquidated before the end of his tenure, barring any future closure of the institution due to strike.
The VC further said that the management had received approval of the Senate, Students Union Government and parents for a review of the university’s tuition fees.
He said that the current fees introduced 15 years ago were no longer realistic, considering the inflationary trend in the country.
He said that new tuition fees would be announced in due course and promised that it would be moderate and affordable to parents and guardians.
He said that the review became inevitable to enable the institution to continue to provide excellent service to its students.
Ogbulu expressed joy that in spite of the huge challenges bedevilling the nation’s education sector, including poor funding, the university had continued to excel in its academic programmes.
“We have not lagged behind in harnessing sound academics and scholars in diverse disciplines.
“And their contributions to teaching, learning and community development make ABSU stand out in the comity of universities in the country,” he said.
According to him, the university has continued to blaze the trail in its academic performances at both local and international levels.
“Our graduates have maintained the same spirit of excellence of the university at various fields of endeavour in medicine, law, sciences, arts and other areas,” Ogbulu said. (NAN)