Seventy-two graduates of the Federal University, Otuoke, in Bayelsa, have bagged first-class degrees.
Newsmen report that the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Seth Jaja, disclosed this on Saturday at the maiden convocation ceremony of the university.
He said that 462 other students graduated with the second class upper division, adding that a total of 1121 students graduated with various divisions.
While congratulating the graduates, Jaja admonished them to learn how to be innovative and live an independent life.
He urged them to endeavour to pursue various entrepreneurial opportunities to be self-employed.
Jaja commended the federal government for its efforts in delivering quality tertiary education to the teeming youth of the country.
He announced that the National Universities Commission (NUC) has approved an additional 16 programmes of the institution, thereby bring the total programmes offered by the school to 28 at the moment.
He said: “It is worthy to recall that between 2011/2012 and 2015/2016 academic sessions, the university ran 12 academic programmes.
“This situation limited the number of prospective students offered admission into the university.
“On assumption of duty as Vice-Chancellor in 2016, the first major challenge I faced was how to bridge this need gap.
“This challenge was resolved when the National Universities Commission, after due resources verification exercise, graciously approved 16 additional programmes.
“Bringing the total number of programmes in the university to 28, this singular achievement helped to minimise our challenge of meeting the university’s social responsibility of granting admission to deserving Nigerian youths.
“However, those programmes that were not having full accreditation status before my assumption of duty, now have full accreditation.
“With the rising profile of Federal University, Otuoke and without prejudice, non-conformist staff and students to the standard of the university culture and those who possess questionable scholarly credentials will be reclassified and shown the way out.
“Apart from enthroning academic discipline, our university has excelled in several research breakthroughs as also contained in our university compendium,” he said.
In his remarks, the best graduating student, Stephen Chukwunonso, said with hard work one can be the best he or she desires.
He urged other students to be focused, disciplined and committed, adding that reading at night will always help you to understand when you read.