A 45 year old man, Bala Magaji has emerged the best graduating student of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) for the 2018/2019 academic year.
He was among the 20,799 graduates convoked at the ceremonies held on Saturday, 23rd March, 2019.
Mr Magaji recorded a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.8.
This father of seven and is said to be married with two wives was showered with encomiums at the event held in Abuja.
The best graduating student studied Islamic Studies.
While speaking at the ceremonies, he pointed out that university degree is not cheap or easy but can open doors to great benefits, adding that, “I feel very happy and excited today and I will recommend the school because it is one of the best in the country and it has rich materials.”
On how he combined his academics with marriage, Magaji said “I had to tell my wife to sacrifice every time she said she needed me and that is why I had to praise and thank her in my speech.”
“I had the feeling that I will perform exceedingly well so I created time to study and I ensured I understood all I read. On the average, I read two to three hours daily and had lots of sleepless night.”
He used the occasion to advise the management of the university to start a postgraduate degree in courses where such are yet to be run.
Magaji who currently works at Unity Bank and he has a previous degree in Zoology from the University of Jos and a Masters degree in Banking and Finance from Bayero University, Kano, said he would like to reach Islamic Studies later.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Abdalla Adamu, in his welcome speech said the graduating students were the highest in the school’s history, recalling that in 2018, 14,769 graduated from the university.
EduCeleb.com reports that convocation ceremony produced 15 642 persons at the undergraduate level, with 103 graduating first class. It also produced 5,157 at the postgraduate level.
Professor Adamu added that all the programmes the university submitted to the National Universities Commission (NUC) were accredited.
“Of the 18 programs submitted, 15 had full accreditation, while only three had interim accreditation,” he said.
“Even then, one of them is being phased out. The three programmes that got interim accreditation are B.sc Hotel and Catering Management, B.sc Political Science and B.sc Chemistry.”
The Vice Chancellor revealed that the institution received over 250 PhD applications between 2017 and January 2019, out of which 34 scaled the selective examinations and were granted admission.
EduCeleb.com had earlier reported that President Muammadu Buhari promised to increase funding on education to combat incidents of insecurity and violence in Nigeria.
While addressing the convocation, he expressed belief that mass education would improve the employability of students.