27th July, 2011
The University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Rivers State, held its 27th convocation ceremony which was graced by many dignitaries including the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.
The President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who delivered a speech at the occasion, assured that Nigeria will soon be among one of the most developed countries in the world.
This, he said, will be achieved through qualitative education and steady power supply, while also assuring a better nation and implored that Nigerian universities should incorporate entrepreneurial studies so as to train a better and well equipped graduates, who will put in their contributions in achieving national development.
The president, who spoke through his vice, Architect Namadi Sambo, charged graduates in the country to learn how to apply their entrepreneurial skills for self development, noting that they should not only seek employment elsewhere.
According to him, the present administration will promote public-private partnership with an intention to raise the quality of university education in the country.
President Jonathan who is also an alumnus of the university, emphasised that the Federal Government has made sure of the existence of industrial harmony in the university system to the point that academic calendar is not disrupted, pointing out that the signing of Federal Government/ASUU agreement has helped to normalise the academic calendar while the signing of the minimum wage bill into law will no doubt improve the wellbeing of staff of the universities.
He further assured that his administration will continue to take steps to develop university education in the country.
The First Lady, who was also a former student; a renowned educationist and novelist, Chief Elechi Amadi; a former Executive Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Stanley Lawson; the President of African Business Round Table, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and a legal luminary, Chief Jacob Nwokolo, were the five persons conferred with honorary doctorate degrees at the event.
Meanwhile, 16 first-class graduates of the university, out of the total of 7,509 for the 2009/2010 session, were offered immediate employment by Diamond Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank respectively.
The best graduating student, Miss Dieteke Oke, with cumulative grade point average (CPGA) of 4.68, from the Department of Guidance and Counselling, was offered automatic employment at Diamond Bank Plc, by its Managing Director, Dr. Alex Otti, who also witnessed the occasion.