The Lagos State University (LASU) overall Best Graduating Student, Ridwan Ola-Gbadamosi has disclosed that he emerged top of his set while combining entrepreneurship with scholarship.
Mr Ola-Gbadamosi who studied Mechanical Engineering graduated with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.88 revealed this in his valedictory speech on Wednesday during LASU 23rd Convocation ceremony of 2017/2018 academic session.
He had gained admission into the university in 2013, a time the Lagos State government hiked the school fees by about 750% and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) went on a six-month national strike.
He said the strike afforded him the opportunity to focus on entrepreneurship by investing funds in his poultry business to complement his father’s efforts at funding his education.
He also paid tributes to his late mother, Mrs Aishat Ola-Gbadamosi whose death when he was 12 years old was part of his motivation to obtain good grades.
“I found for myself, an academic niche in my area of strength and interest. Hence, I decided to study Mechanical Engineering where my interest lied and in God’s guidance, this is how far my interest has brought me.
“Worth mentioning is that paying the tuition of LASU Engineering students as at 2013-(Two hundred and eighty-four thousand, seven hundred and fifty naira only) was a big task mindful of the fact that two of my younger siblings were getting ready for tertiary education and my dedicated father had the onerous responsibility to shoulder all of the financial demands from all of us.”
“Eventually, my father was able to pay the full tuition, while l had to take charge of other associated expenses. In order to assist him financially, I decided to invest the cash prize I received at my secondary school Speech and Prize Giving Day in the production of one hundred and fifty (150) broilers which I successfully raised from day old chicks till maturity during the 2013 ASUU strike.
“I remember using bandage to wrap their broken legs and a sipping straw to administer drugs on one of the birds not because I cared about the health but because I was desperate about making the desired profit. The return on the investment was used to cater for my personal and academic needs.
He added that his good grades over the years came with some benefits.
“I became a beneficiary of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, MTN Foundation and Federal Government Scholarships amongst other grants which were utilized in paying my school fees and other sundry expenses.”
“My story is that of zest, passion, inquisitiveness and sheer determination. It typifies passion for success, a recipe in every degree award recipient in this hall that I have been chosen to represent today.”
EduCeleb.com reports that LASU is graduating 10,252 undergraduate students in the ceremonies. Aside Ola-Gbadamosi, another student Nneka Enumah also graduated CGPA of 4.88 in Mathematics. But the former spoke on behalf of all the graduates.
Earlier in his speech, Vice-Chancellor of LASU, Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun, said it was the first time in the history of the University that it was producing Fifty-Seven Students First Class Graduates in a single convocation.
He challenged them not to relent in the quest for excellence while congratulating them on behalf of the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on their achievements.
The ceremonies continue on Thursday with a convocation lecture to be delivered by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and the award of higher degrees to students.