By Henry Oqua & Tunde Tee Olatunji
The Edo State Governor Mr. Godwin Obaseki has said that the Government is looking to build quality manpower by providing employment for the best graduates across the state-owned higher institutions. He made this statement at the fourth convocation ceremony of the Edo State University Uzairue, on Saturday, November 5, 2022, where he promised the 15 First Class Graduates automatic employment into the State Civil Service.
Accompanied by top government officials including the Deputy Governor, Rt Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, Commissioner for Education, Dr. Joan Osa Oviawe, and others, Mr. Obaseki said automatic employment for first-class graduates has become the standard in Edo, adding that “your job is waiting for you”.
According to the Governor, “We have made it a standard that any graduate from any of our universities in Edo State that made a first-class should be given automatic employment in our public and civil service. We want to build quality manpower.
Public higher institutions across Nigeria were closed for most of the year as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on a strike that lasted from February 14, 2022, until it was finally called off on October 14, 2022. Highlighting the hardship the 8-month strike caused, Mr. Obaseki noted that the university was blazing the trail by graduating its first set of postgraduate students in spite of the strike.
“As we mark the fourth convocation ceremony of the Edo State University Uzairue, the institution has continued to blaze the trail in teaching and research in Nigeria. This academic year has been challenging but we are today celebrating the first set of our postgraduate students.
“In the last six years, we have placed a premium on education. We have continued to implement transformational reforms in our basic education sector because we believe that the foundation in which education rests must be a solid one.”
He continued: “As a government, we are now prioritizing technical and vocational education as we believe that to build our country, our educational system must now focus on building people who can now use their hands and skills in the workplace.
“Unless we strengthen the foundation of education in this country by strengthening basic education and promoting TVET, we will not have the strong human capital base that we require.
“This university has continued to record impressive milestones in its mark to self-reliance and sustainability. I am impressed with the success so far achieved.”
Among the highlights of the convocation was the conferment of an Honourary Doctorate Degree of Business Administration on Chief Abu Inu Umoru, the Chairman (CEO) of Setraco Nigeria Ltd. Abu, a philanthropist, was conferred the award for his contributions to society.
The ceremony also saw some of the graduates given awards including cash prizes for their performances in the graduating set. The overall best graduating student Seyi Samuel Olatunde-Agbooro with a cgpa of 4.94 bagged various awards including the Department of Civil Engineering Award, the Faculty of Engineering Award, the Dr Mike Ozekhome Prize for Best Graduating Student (100, 000), and the Vice Chancellor Prize of one million Naira.
Other students bagged various cash awards including Damilola Opeyemi Osofisan and Salome Onome Anakhu who both shared the five million Naira Entrepreneurship Award.