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The Text of Press Briefing to Mark the 2nd Convocation Ceremony of FUL by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Angela F. Miri


Photo Credit: Chris YahayaIt is my privilege and honour to welcome Distinguished Press Men and Women to our modest Campus, and to express sincere appreciation to you for honoring our invitation to this Press Briefing being held  to acquaint you with some major activities embarked upon to mark the 2nd Convocation of Federal University Lokoja.  My last briefing to the Press was on 20th March, 2017 to mark my one year in office. I also welcome the Management Team and members of Senate of the University, Deans, HODs, Heads of Units, Professors, Staff and Students present here, to this occasion.

I wish to reiterate that this Administration would always keep you abreast of the on- goings in the University as we count on your objective, fair and sincere reportage of events in the University. Federal University Lokoja marks the Second Convocation Ceremony for the award of Degrees and to officially send off the second set of graduates on Saturday, 4th November, 2017.  

Saturday, 4th November, 2017 is therefore another milestone in the annals of the University as over Two Hundred Graduates would be conferred with First Degrees in various disciplines by the Chancellor, His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr) Muhammadu Abali Ibn Muhammadu Idris CON, the Emir of Fika and Chairman, Yobe State Council of  Chiefs.  

We are determined not to delay unduly our students from graduating in record time, a kind of situation that often makes candidates prefer to travel abroad to study. In this regard, we shall continue to do everything within our power to avert situations that would culminate in accumulating arrears of Convocation.  As you are aware, the first set of FUL Graduates graduated last year in October, 2016, and we had the Maiden Convocation that attracted people from all walks of life, and by the special grace of God we are sustaining the zeal as we graduate yet, another set in November, 2017.

Itinerary of Activities for the 2nd Convocation

Day 1:                    Monday, 30th October, 2017 - Press Briefing by the Vice-Chancellor Professor Angela Freeman Miri PhD, MNAL
Venue:                    The University Council Chambers, Adankolo Campus - Lokoja.
Time:                      10.00am Prompt

Day 2:                    Wednesday, 1st November, 2017 - Tree Planting
Venue:                    The Permanent Site, Felele, along Lokoja-Okene Road.
Time:                      11.00am Prompt

Day 3:                    Thursday, 2nd November, 2017 - 2nd Convocation Lecture
Title:                       Resources and the Prospects of Development in Nigerian Universities.
Lecturer:                 Emeritus Professor Nimi Dimkpa Briggs OON;MBBS;FWACS…
Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Federal University Lokoja, Kogi State.
Venue:                    The University Auditorium, Adankolo Campus - Lokoja
Time:                      2.00pm Prompt

Day 4:                    Friday, 3rd October, 2017 - Friday Juma'at Prayer
Venue:                    The University Mosque, Adankolo Campus - Lokoja
Time:                      1.30pm Prompt

                             Chancellor's Night (Card Admits, Please)
Venue:                   Open Space by the University Auditorium, Adankolo Campus - Lokoja.
Time:                     5.00pm Prompt

Day 5:                   Saturday, 4th November, 2017 - 2nd Convocation Ceremony of the University
Venue:                   The University Permanent Site, Felele, along Lokoja - Okene Road - Lokoja.     
Time:                     10.00am Prompt

Day 6:                   Sunday, 5th November, 2017 - Inter-denominational Thanksgiving Service
Venue:                   The University Auditorium, Adankolo Campus - Lokoja
Time:                     10.00am Prompt

Movement to the Permanent Site
In our bid to move the University to the enviable heights envisioned, we have realized that there can be no meaningful impact or advancement if we do not commence operation at the Permanent Site, Felele, located along Lokoja –Okene road. I recall in my last Press Briefing, I stated that our desire is to move to the permanent site. The 2017 Convocation Ceremony will be taking place at the Permanent Site, Felele and the event is obviously marking the gradual commencement of operations at our permanent site.

Re-Accreditation/Establishment of more Programmes
It will not be out of place to update the Press on the earlier arrangements for the re-accreditation of some of our programmes. I am also to inform our Press Men and Women that more programmes shall commence after the full accreditation of all our Science courses. The National Universities Commission (NUC) has already accredited all the established programmes in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and has given interim accreditation in the Faculty of Sciences awaiting full accreditation in the second quarter of 2018. The accreditation was earlier slated for November 2017 which I stated in my last Press Briefing, but the University Management applied for an extension of time from the NUC to fully prepare for the exercise in May, 2018. We are on the verge of meeting up with all the requirements that would qualify Federal University Lokoja to have full accreditation of all the Science programmes. The 2014 TETFund sponsored projects-Office Blocks, Science Laboratories and Classrooms are nearing completion. The contractors have been given a deadline in which to complete the projects. As for the recruitment of Senior Academic Staff, being part of the re-accreditation requirements, everything is being done to engage the best brains for the Institution. We are optimistic that the University would receive full accreditation for all the already established programmes especially those in the Sciences. We are therefore poised to expand the existing Faculties, and establish new ones with funds being made available.

Consultancy Services
I would like to use this opportunity to further acquaint members of the Press with plans by the University to commence Consultancy services in ICT, domiciled in the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Directorate.  Certificate programmes to be offered in this regard include:

  1. Certificate in Desktop publishing (3 months)
  2. Certificate in word processing (3 months)
  • Certificate in Data processing (3 months)
  1. Certificate in Web /Graphic Design (3 months)
  2. Diploma in Data Processing (6 months)
  3. Diploma in Hardware maintenance (6 months)

The University shall, again, run a-one-year Remedial Programme designed for students especially in the Sciences who may wish to further their education but who are deficient in their O’ level science subjects, and would afford those students who meet up the requirements admissions into 100 level in the University.

Furthermore, in the Department of English and Literary Studies, a 3- month proficiency Diploma in Teaching, Language and Literature to teachers of the discipline will be offered, as it is designed to train class-room teachers of Primary and Secondary Schools to gain proficiency in the teaching of Language and Literary subjects. This would take place during the long vocation. It is also open to non-teaching participants who may wish to improve their proficiency in the use of English Language and Literature.

There would also be a-one-month proficiency Course in Communication Skills accommodating participants from Organizations, Ministries, parastatals and NGO’s that are interested in acquiring Proficiency in Communication Skills.

The Consultancy unit of Federal University Lokoja would, in addition run a Certificate programme in Drama and Film production.  It is designed to cater for those who desire to have knowledge of the basics of drama and film production.  Furthermore, the unit would offer a-6-month Certificate Course in Journalism especially for graduates in other fields who desire to be exposed to the journalism profession. Media personnel who wish to deepen their expertise can also benefit from the programme.

Other details including entry requirements for admission into the various programmes would be posted on Federal University Lokoja website.

Preparation for the Commencement of School of Post-Graduate Studies
Distinguished Press men and women, I am delighted to inform you that upon graduation of the second set of graduands, and sequel to the approval given by the Senate of the University and my subsequent appointment of the Dean of the School of Post-Graduate Studies to put in place every machinery for the smooth take-off of  Post Graduate Programmes, Federal University Lokoja is poised to commence Post-Graduate Programmes to be offered in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Science beginning from the 2018/2019 Academic session. The establishment of the School of Post-Graduate Studies and commencement of the Post-Graduate Programmes in Federal University Lokoja remains one of our cardinal focus for a world class University. Consequently, the Vice-Chancellor had inaugurated the Board of the School of Post-Graduate Studies, Faculty and Departmental Post-Graduate Committees on the 4th October, 2017.  We are building a University for the future and as such, the School of Post-Graduate Studies would, as soon as the NUC grants approval, take-off in earnest. When this happens, we shall be making the institution and its environs a community of scholars who would help prospective candidates obtain Higher Degrees.

Federal University Lokoja is mindful of the need to improve postgraduate education in our country, therefore careful planning for its take-off in FUL would guarantee a new revolution in postgraduate education with a view to providing solutions to the challenges of our community in particular and the nation in general, especially in all sectors and sub-sectors of the economy.  To this end, FUL (Gown) would partner with town and industry with improved collaboration to drive the various developmental goals of the programme.

The Management Committee of the School of Post-Graduate Studies, since its inauguration has worked out several modalities of engaging relevant stake-holders in order to put in place complementary facilities and documentation for the commencement of academic activities, in line with the vision of the Vice-Chancellor.  As clearly stated in my vision for the University, "we shall live up to the traditional tripartite functions of Teaching, Research and Community Service and be distinguished locally, nationally and internationally as the best managed University in the North-Central Nigeria and beyond." It is my earnest hope that young Nigerian graduates and the International community would take advantage of the Post-Graduate Study Programme to further their education by acquiring Higher Degrees.

At this juncture, I wish to sincerely appreciate the Almighty God, for His grace  has been sufficient for us. We are grateful to the Visitor to the University, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, Hon Minister for Education Mallam Adamu Adamu, The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission Professor Rasheed Adamu Abubakar mni,CON,FNAL and the Executive Secretary of the TETFund Dr. Abdullahi Baffa for their unwavering support. Our Chancellor and Royal Father His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr) Muhammadu Abali Ibn Muhammadu Idris, Emir of Fika and Chairman of Yobe State Council of Chiefs, who has remained a very caring father to the University community. My sincere gratitude is specially due to the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council Emeritus Professor Nimi Dimkpa Briggs OON,MBBS,FWACS… our 2nd Convocation Lecturer who has toiled tirelessly to ensure the Convocation lecture held as scheduled. And all members of the Governing Council for their constant support and guidance to ensure the smooth and diligent conduct of the affairs of the Institution. I cannot end this briefing without sincerely thanking all our Royal Fathers in Kogi State and all illustrious sons and daughters of Kogi State as well as friends of the University who have been so supportive of our modest effort at developing Federal University Lokoja.

To the members of our University Senate, Management, the entire Staff and Students of Federal University Lokoja, I thank you immeasurably for your encouragement without which the challenges of running the University would have been daunting. Our highly esteemed members of the fourth Estate of the realm, once again, I am delighted for your positive response to our invitation to this briefing.

Finally, I wish to assure all stakeholders that we shall continue to give our best until our vision for the growth and development of Federal University Lokoja is realized.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Professor Angela Freeman Miri

Photo Credit: Chris Yahaya