Celebrating UNILAG at 60: UNILAG Alumni Association Holds Awards Night

As part of activities to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), the UNILAG Alumni Association hosted a dinner and awards night on Saturday, November 26, 2022,  in recognition of its members who have displayed selfless service and belief in the common good. These alumni have equally distinguished themselves in their various fields and brought honour to the UNILAG name. 

The event, which was bursting with excitement of rekindling relationships and forging newer connections, was attended by the crème de la crème of industry and government across the nation.

Vice President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, represented by the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Layiwola Mohammed, in his remarks expressed profound gratitude for receiving the Diamond Jubilee Distinguished Alumnus Award.

He disclosed that the University of Lagos has played a pivotal role in shaping the ideologies that have strongly guided him in both private and public aspects of his life.

He thanked the university for providing an intellectual and moral environment that has produced the finest alumni in the past sixty (60) years.

Congratulating UNILAG for its special diamond jubilee, Prof. Osinbajo extended his regards to the university for helping its alumni identify and shape the greatness in Nigeria and Africa.

The Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Folasade T. Ogunsola, FAS, earlier in her address, lauded the UNILAG Alumni Association for hosting such a grandiose dinner to honour its own. She expressed her pride in the calibre of alumni the university boasts of, second to no other university in Nigeria.

Prof. Ogunsola appreciated the support of alumni to both the university and the nation. She encouraged more graduates, both young and old, to register with the Association and work together with the university to build the UNILAG of the future.

She shared her vision of propelling the university to greater heights by being the most innovative and entrepreneurial institution. This dream, she  pointed out, was shared by the founding fathers of the university. She averred that through building human capacity and strengthening the link between alumni, students and the university, UNILAG will churn out fit-for-purpose graduates.

She heartily congratulated all awardees, and expressed her hope that the recognition will spur them to make greater investments in their alma mater.

The Pro-Chancellor, UNILAG, Distinguished Senator, Prince (Dr.) Lanre Tejuoso, in his remarks, acknowledged the presence of all dignitaries, including the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Engr. Mansur Ahmed who represented the Chairman of the occasion and President of Dangote Group, Alh. Aliko Dangote, GCON. He appealed for an extension of the tax waiver being enjoyed by the Ministry of Works,  to universities and hospitals.

He explained that he made this request considering that UNILAG has both University and College of Medicine producing brilliant minds. This, he asserted will attract medical practitioners and other professionals back to Nigeria by paying for the kind of salaries enticing them to leave for foreign countries.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Chief Host of the occasion and National President, UNILAG Alumni Association, Dr. John Momoh called on men and women from UNILAG alumni intelligentsia who can show moral leadership and courage to champion knowledge, truth and selflessness as well as demonstrate their benefits to society. This, he posited, was in high demand, as the country is in a time where goodwill is fast disappearing.

Calling on further contributions from alumni to the greater good of the university, Dr. Momoh said: “A world-class university such as ours is characterised by four (4) factors: excellent students, excellent faculty staff, excellent alumni and abundant resources.” He went on to explain that the university has the first three but is lacking in the fourth factor. He called on all alumni, some of whom are the movers and shakers of industry and government, to join the Association in providing the resources to strengthen the excellence of the students, staff and future alumni of their great alma mater.

Some of the projects the UNILAG Alumni Association intends to embark upon are:

• 500-bed space ultramodern hostel (₦3 Billion Naira)

• Renovation of Halls of Residence (₦200 Million naira)

• Adopt-a-Student programme (₦300,000 per student)

• Renovation of the Alumni Secretariat (₦10 Million Naira)

The 2022 Distinguished Alumni Awards was categorised into three (3) groups. These groups and the awardees are:

A. Diamond Jubilee Distinguished Alumnus Award

1. Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON – – Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

2. The Olor’ogun Dr. Sonny Kuku, OFR – – Co-Founder, EKO Hospital Plc & Former President, UNILAG Alumni Association

B. Distinguished Alumnus Award

1. Her Excellency, Ambassador Olufolake Abdulrazaq – – Wife of Kwara State Governor

2. Her Excellency, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu – – Wife of Lagos State Governor

3. Hon. Justice John T. Tsoho – – Chief Judge of Federal High Court

4. Hon. Justice Jonathan Shakarho  – – Former Judge, Federal High Court

5. Senator Kanu Agabi, SAN, CON – – Former Minister of Justice & Attorney General of the Federation

6. His Majesty, Oba Babatunde Adewale Ajayi, LLM, FCA – – The Akarigbo of Remo Land

7. Engr. Ade Ogundeyin – – Founder/CEO, Proforce Ltd.

8. Engr. Ife Oyedele – – Executive Director, Niger Delta Power Holding Co

9. Mr. Tope Smart – – Group Managing Director, NEM Insurance PIc.

C. Honorary Alumnus Award

1. Otunba Dr. Michael Olasubomi Balogun, CON – – Founder/Chairman, FCMB Group

2. Mr. Mac Ovbiagele – – Doyen of Advertising

Honoured by the awards bestowed upon them, awardees vouched to contribute more to the improvement of the university. They commended the Alumni Association for its outstanding work and congratulated UNILAG on its 60th anniversary.

The University of Lagos Alumni Association came into existence in 1969, four (4) years after the first 41 graduates were turned out of the university that was established in 1962.

The idea of the Alumni Association was conceived when it was considered necessary to create an organization that would embrace different generations of the university. The body was expected to play a dominant role in the life of the University by reflecting the views of its graduates.

The Alumni Association was formally launched on Friday, January 16, 1970 by the Pro-Chancellor, late Justice J. I. C. Taylor with the late Justice J. S. Mature, then Chancellor of the University as the Chairman of the occasion.

National Presidents of the Association from inception till date are:

• Mr Kayode Anjorin 1969-1973

• Late Chief Akintunde Asalu 1973-1978

• Senator Dipo Odujinrin 1978-1980

• Dr M. Y. I. Salami 1980-1982

• Mr. Gbolahan Olufon 1982-1984

• Late Mr F. B. Oyediji 1984-1988

• Late Chief Rufus Giwa 1988-1992

• Prince Yemi Adefulu 1992-1996

• Chief Michael Olawalo-Cole, FNIM 1996-2000

• Chief L. E. A Aimiuwu, OON 2000-2004

• Mr. Adebowale Thompson, FNIM 2004-2008

• Professor Olaide Abass 2008-2013

• The Olor’ogun Dr. Sonny Kuku, OFR, FAS 2013-2018

• Dr. John Momoh, OON 2018-till date

The event came to a close with photographs, cutting off a UNILAG Diamond Jubilee cake, music, laughter and merriment.

Below are pictorial highlights of the dinner:

Click the red play button below to watch the full 2022 Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner.

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