Why FG ordered UNILAG to suspend March 9 convocation


The University of Lagos (UNILAG) 51st convocation scheduled to commence on March 9, has been postponed by the university’s management.

Disclosing this in a press release signed by the Registrar and Secretary to Council, Oladejo Azeez, Esq, on the university’s website on Thursday, the management gave no reason for the postponement.

The university in a similar manner had postponed its February 2018 50th convocation.

“The Management of the University of Lagos regrets to inform the general public that the 51st (2019) Convocation Ceremonies earlier scheduled to hold from Monday 9th to Thursday 12th March 2020, has been postponed.

“Any inconvenience occasioned by this postponement is highly regretted,” the statement read.


However, a leaked memo from the Federal Ministry of Education has revealed that it was the Federal Government that ordered the university management to postpone its convocation.

In the memo, the Ministry of Education had asked the National Universities Commission (NUC) to instruct UNILAG to postpone the convocation.

As contained in the memo, the reason was over an allegation that the university’s Governing Council did not approve the programme.

“The attention of the honourable minister has been drawn to the attached copy of a letter dated 2nd of March 2020 from the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Dr. B.O. Babalakin to the effect that the 2019 convocation ceremonies were not approved by the Governing Council in line with the laws of the University.

“I am to, therefore, request that you kindly advise the Vice-Chancellor to suspend the convocation and ensure full compliance with due process,” the memo read.

In another development, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, during a pre-convocation news conference on Monday in Lagos, had disclosed that no fewer than 100 first-class graduates of the university would be offered employment.

Prof Ogundipe said the university had secured N250 million funding from the Bank of Industry to support entrepreneurship drive in the institution, adding that the university had also attracted about N7 billion for research from local and international agencies.

A total of 13,489 of graduands would receive degrees, diplomas, and certificates at the convocation ceremonies, the vice-chancellor said while giving a breakdown of the graduating students.

He said 281 of the students bagged first-class degrees, while 13,489 others would receive degrees, diplomas, and certificates in various fields.

Dr Stella Adedevo, who lost her life on August 19, 2014, while preventing the spread of Ebola virus in the country and a former Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe, were among prominent Nigerians that would be honoured at the convocation event, Prof. Ogundipe said.

While he unveiled the university’s anthem during the press conference, he said the convocation lecture would be delivered by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami on “The Role of Disruptive Technologies in Sustainable Economic Transformation.”