UNICAL 30th Convocation: Top 3 graduating students to share N100, 000; thanks to Odidi, Utsu, etc

L-R: Princewill Odidi, Zana Akpagu and Simon Utsu 
Efio-Ita Nyok|16 March 2017
The authority of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), Calabar has indicated her decision to raise the monetary benefits designated for best graduating students of the institution during convocation ceremonies from the statutory meager N10, 000 to a relatively reasonable N100, 000 NegroidHaven can report.
The Vice-Chancellor of UNICAL, Prof. Zana Akpagu, arrived at this decision yesterday in a post-convocation meeting. This turn-around wasn’t without the promptings of influential critics of the previous N10, 000 peanut, to wit, Simon Utsu and Princewill Odidi.
The University aired her decision via Mr Joseph Ekpang the chairman of media committee of the academic institution. According to Ekpang, ‘This is to formally acknowledge the efforts of Simon Utsu in prompting the University of Calabar to take action on the upward review of the monetary reward for the best graduating student of the institution. I can confirm that at a post-convocation meeting today, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Zana Akpagu, immediately increased the money from N10,000 to N100,000. This money will be shared to the three best graduating students in the ratio of 50, 30, 20.
‘In addition, before the next convocation, the university will reach out to corporate organizations to sponsor these awards. A robust framework has been put in place to achieve this objective. Many thanks once again to Simon Utsu, Princewill Odidi and others who made all the constructive suggestions. Please keep the feedback rolling in guys.’, he concluded.
Recall that Utsu had said recently on his Facebook wall that, ‘The best graduating student in UNICAL in the just concluded convocation, a Cross Riverian from Abi LGA went home with a paltry 10,000 Naira cash gift on his big day. In the same convocation ceremony, another Cross Riverian made history by becoming the first student in the history of the history department’s existence to come out with a first class.
‘My grouse is with the UNICAL teaching and non-teaching community, especially those who spend the bulk of their useful time criticising Governor Ben Ayade. People like Dr. Joseph Odok. It smacks of hypocrisy when your school does a convocation and two records are set by locals, yet you or the university community did nothing to reward them for their hard work but same you will go ahead to spend 95% of your useful time calling the Governor all sorts of names for not attending to the welfare of Cross Riverians to your satisfaction.
‘It’s also embarrassing that the great University of Calabar can no longer attract meaningful corporate sponsorship for her convocation days. How are the mighty fallen!’
Odidi, who wrote from Atlanta, reinvigorated Utsu’s earlier position by asserting that, ‘The University can also solicit donations from Private individuals and Corporation to the pool of awards for best graduating students. As a society our reward for excellence in education should attract highest priority in the order of performance awards and recognition.’
My take is, this is a typical example of when criticism works because recipients of criticism are accommodating. Kudos to UNICAL, kudos to Utsu, kudos Odidi. And before I forget —thumbs-up to Vice-Chancellor Akpagu. We anticipate follow up in next year’s convocation. Let’s prioritise education and hard work.
Efio-Ita Nyok
Is a Blogger, the Editor & Publisher of NegroidHaven.org