A viral picture showing a letter from Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti (EKSU), and posted in multiple times on Facebook and Twitter claims the best graduating student in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering of the university, was honoured with an award prize of One Hundred Naira (N100).
The picture is genuine, indicating the university presented the letter to the beneficiary. However, EKSU said it was a long-standing tradition of the institution, adding that the management upwardly reviewed it after the public outburst and it would be effective from its next convocation ceremony.
The letter, which was dated June 13, 2018, emanated from the Office of the Registrar and was printed on the university’s letterhead with the emblem of the institution. It was signed on behalf of the Vice Chancellor of the University by Dr. Afolabi S.O, EKSU Principal Assistant Registrar/Head, Senate and Academic Matters, for the Registrar of the institution, Akin Arogundade.
Furthermore, the letter was addressed to Bamisaye Tosin Tope, a graduate of the Department of Chemical Engineering in 2016/2017 academic session, for emerging winner of the Ado-Ekiti Patriotic Front Prize Award.
Ekiti State University, formally University of Ado-Ekiti, is a state-owned university in the state. The institution prides itself as an academic known for knowledge, honour and service.
“This is to inform you that you have won ADO-EKITI PATRIOTIC FRONT PRIZE AWARD for 2016/2017 academic session as the best graduating student in the Department of Civil Engineering,” the letter read in part. “The value of the prize award is N100.00 (One Hundred Naira Only).”
BusinessDay contacted the Registrar of the university, Akin Arogundade, on Monday, July 8, 2019, to verify the authenticity of the viral letter. Although Arogundade did not explicitly state that the letter was issued by EKSU, he simply said the management has reacted to the letter and upwardly reviewed the said value of the award prize.
“That award was instituted in the university more than 30 years ago,” Arogundade told BusinessDay on phone. “I am sure you know the value of N100 then.”
Attempts to make him confirm the letter proved abortive as the Registrar complained of being behind schedule of the school management meeting which he claimed had commenced as at when the conversation was on-going.
He explained that the management of the institution has jerked up the award to N50,000, making reference to a statement issued earlier.
BusinessDay obtained a copy of the statement where the university pointed out that the controversial award was “instituted in the university a long time ago.”
“At the time the award was made, it was a good money compared to the present economic reality,” the statement issued by Bode Olofinmuagun, EKSU Head of Directorate of Information and Corporate Affairs, read. “It is in the realization of this development that the Senate of the university has reviewed the value of the prizes in this category to a minimum of N50,000 for corporate bodies and N100,000 for university prizes.”
EKSU said the decision has since been communicated to those concerned and is expected to be implemented at its next convocation ceremony.
To further substantiate the veracity of the award’s value, BusinessDay reached out to Bamisaye Tosin Tope, the beneficiary of the award. According to Bamisaye, he was not personally notified of the management’s decision over the increase of the value of the award prize.
“I only read about it (press statement) this morning when a friend shared it with me,” he said.
Bamisaye indicated that he was the best graduating student of the Department of Chemical Engineering for the academic session having recorded a CGPA of 4.35 points, stressing that since he got the letter he was yet to be paid.
“They gave me the letter, but I have not collected the money (N100),” Bamisaye added. “I went to the Bursar’s office but he was not in the office, since then I did not go again.
With the university’s reaction through a press statement, the Registrar’s comment, and confirmation by Bamisaye Tosin Tope, it is clear that it is an age-long tradition in Ekiti State University to honour the best graduating student in the Department of Chemical Engineering with the Ado-Ekiti Patriotic Front Prize Award of N100.
Hence, it is true that the university awards N100 to the best graduating student in the Department of Chemical Engineering of the school.