The management of the University of Benin yesterday said it has granted no fewer than 500 students who had overstayed in the school an amnesty in order to give them room for graduation.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Lilian Salami, disclosed this during a press conference in Benin-city as part of activities to mark the 46th and 47th convocation, 51st Founders’ Day ceremony and Golden Jubilee anniversary of the institution.
She also announced that 125 students bagged First Class and 2,794 bagged Second Class Upper in the 2018/2019 academic session, while 157 bagged First Class and 2,631 bagged Second Class Upper in the 2019/2020 academic session.
She explained that the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 academic sessions had to be compressed at great stress to the lecturers and students in order to ensure that the students graduate as planned, and that no student lost any year.
Professor Salami also announced that “a total of 8,996 graduated in the 2018/2019 academic session with 4,950 graduating with Second Class Lower, 287 graduated with Third Class, while 837 graduated with Pass, diploma, unclassified, credit, and merit respectively.”
She added that “the 2019/2020 academic session saw 5,248 graduating with Second Class Lower, 118 with Third Class, 21 Pass, while a total of 346 graduated with diploma, unclassified, distinction, and credit respectively.”
According to her, for the two sessions compressed, under the higher degree, 361 graduated with Doctoral degree, 2,511 Master’s degree and 556 with Postgraduate diploma.
Salami further disclosed that as part of activities for the convocation, the university’s would be conferring Honorary Doctorate on former Chief of Army Staff and Defence Minister, Lt. General Theophilus Danjuma (rtd); first civilian Governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; Dr. Natalia Kanem, Mr. Oluwakemi Pinheiro (SAN), and Dr. Thomas Illube, adding that the former Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Osayuki Oshodin, would be invested as professor emeritus.
On what she referred to as striking an disequilibrium between teaching and non-teaching staff, the VC pointed out that though there has been embargo on employment, the university had to source for other means of increasing the number of teaching staff, and that as of today, over 250 non-teaching staff were deployed to the teaching cadre.
According to Salami, “Figure available puts teaching staff at 1,779, while the number of non-teaching staff was approximately 6,063. With the continuing embargo on employment, something drastic needed to be done to address the situation.
“The administration then began the process of sourcing from among non-teaching qualified staff, who were subsequently redeployed to the teaching cadre.”