His excellency Peter Obi delivers Convocation Lecture at the 8th Convocation Ceremony, Veritas University
The 8th Convocation Ceremony commenced at about 11:30 am in the Veritas Multipurpose Hall.
The guest speaker, Mr. Peter Obi, Former Governor of Anambra State and 2019 Vice Presidential Candidate of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), began his lecture with a thought provoking statement when remarked that the current graduates were not going to face an easy situation in the labour field due to the nature of things in the country. He felt it was necessary to paint the true picture of Nigeria to the graduating students, hoping it was going to guide them as they proceed to the labour market.
According to Mr. Obi, the number one measure of development in the world was human development agent and it is classified into: 'very high', 'medium', 'low' and in some cases 'very low'. He then pointed out that Nigeria falls under 'very low' and the measures are very simple: "Life Expectancy: while the global life expectancy was 75%, Nigeria was 54% with a difference of 24%. So, those who are above 60 years and are still alive on earth are only enjoying God's grace. Nigeria life expectancy is below countries like Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria". Mr. Obi went further to note that while some of the graduating students were opportune to graduate, Nigeria still fall number one among the countries in the world with the highest number of out of school children; 13.5 million. He noted that Nigeria's budget for education as at 2019 was just 4.4 trillion, while South Africa, the second largest economy in Africa spends 17.8 trillion. This is poor and very bad because Nigeria has not invested in education he said. Obi also informed that the country's per capital income was equally dropping every year, while that of other countries like Vietnam was growing in geometrical progression.
Mr. Obi charged the graduating students to take this analysis seriously so that they will not be disappointed when they get to the labour market. He encouraged them to learn from inventors like Zukerberg, Billgate and investors like Dangote who are doing very well in their respective endeavours. "You must invest your time and acquire skills outside the degree you are going to be awarded here".
On his turn, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Rev. Fr. (Professor) Hyacinth E. Ichoku, in his address, advised the newly graduating students not to over depend on degree certificate but to complement it with other relevant skills. He noted that every graduate must prepare his or her mind on the challenges that lie ahead as they go into the labour market to enable them overcome any obstacle in the job market. "Just as the challenges that lie out there are enormous, so also the opportunities. It is a big mistake to believe that because you now hold a degree certificate you are entitled to a job. It is also a big mistake to believe that your degree certificate is all you need to achieve your dream. You must acquire complementary skills. "Your degree enables you to improvise, to seek and apply information, to perform tasks which you were not taught in the university. "As you step into the world of work and join the ever growing Nigerian labour force, you must open your mind and eyes and seize the opportunities that come your way, right from the national service you must begin to shine your eyes. Make good use of the knowledge and ethics you have acquired in Veritas University."
The Visitor to the University and President, Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, Most Rev. Augustine Akubueze, commended the graduates for their various success stories.
The Chancellor of the University and Archbishop of Abuja, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, charged the graduates to be worthy ambassadors of the school and exhibit the high level of discipline and academic excellence learnt in the University.
The convocation ceremony saw the graduation of 286 students, out of which 26 bagged First Class degrees.