“Shun Cultism, Target First Class,” Says Rev. Fr. Prof. B.A.C Obiefuna to Unizik Economics Students

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By Felix Oti, Awka

A former Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Rev Fr Prof. Chijioke Boniface Anthony Obiefuna has urged fresh students of Economics department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka to shun Cultism in all its ramifications by targeting to graduate with First class.

Rev Fr Prof Obiefuna rather challenged them to learn a skill, study hard and come out in flying colours, thus being a better person to themselves, their parents and the society at large.

Rev Fr Prof Obiefuna who spoke as Chairman on the occasion during the Undergraduate students Orientation organized by the Department of Economics, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka at the new Faculty of Social Sciences auditorium, lauded the Head of Department of Economics, Dr Amaka Metu for the ingenuity in organizing the orientation ceremony.

The University Don who was a former Director of School of General Studies further urged the students to focus on being creative, learn handwork, develop a positive attitude, plan to join professional bodies and have mentors for a brighter future.

He urged the students to make maximum use of the golden opportunity as new students in the institution and turn their potentials into skills that could be valuable and marketable, rather than indulging in frivolities.

His words “Be disciplined, be focused, be result oriented, manage your time and money, let your aim be to graduate with first class, never cheat in examinations, study hard and success is yours. Do your assignment when you should, submit it when you are supposed to, attend your lectures, never get dispelled because you failed a course. Do your best to learn something in this institution. Go and learn something else to add to your studies. Whatever you can learn, learn it. Always read self-help books. Have positive self esteem, be goal oriented. You can, if you think you can”.

The undergraduate orientation with the theme, “Supporting Positive Transition into the University Environment” attracted students not only from the Department of Economics but from the Faculty and beyond.

In her welcome address, the Head of Department of Economics, Dr Amaka Metu stated that the programme was organized for year one students and other students of Economics due to the growing depletion of values, character, moral and ethics in the society which was transmitted into university.

According to Dr Metu, the Department provided this platform and other platforms to be created as a veritable means to re-orientate their minds.

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She said further that it was also an opportunity to engage with them, discuss pertinent issues and0a advise them appropriately.

Her words: “I appreciate our resource persons for being with us in this orientation. I wouldn’t like to delve into what they are going to tell you. Today, I am leaving the floor for them because I know they will do justice to whatever topic we have given to them. We have many topics and they will be talking to you about them. I want you to be attentive”.

While declaring the event open, the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof Frank-Collins Okafor charged the new students to learn skills because it helped him during his own time and not to forget their studies in course of that skill learning, encouraging the students to resist activities that can distract them from their focus. His words: “You have to remain focused in order to achieve your dreams. Whatever you want to do, do it well, because you don’t know where the saviour will come. Learn something and do not forget your studies. I encourage you to stay close to your God. If you have a carryover, make sure you meet your Head of Department and your lecturer for an advice”.

One of the guest speakers, Dr Mrs Chiazor Anyachebelu, a Chief Medical Officer in the Medical Center, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka advised them to try to know the basics of healthy living which includes; cleanliness both in their rooms and hostel, staying in a well ventilated room, engaging in regular exercises, taking enough water, breaking of fast before going out of your house, good sleep to mention but a few. She reminded the students that year one is the most difficult level in the university because of registration processes, urging them to be serious, so that it will not affect their performance. She warmed on the dangers of cheating which could attract expulsion.

Another guest speaker and the Head of the Department of Banking and Finance, Dr Gideon Ezu who spoke on result computation urged the students to commit enough time in their studies in order to attain good grades especially in courses with high credit load.

He displayed a demo template of result computation using the university grading system. Dr Ezu advised the students to work hard and eschew every form of distraction in order to graduate from the university with good grades.

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Also speaking at the event, a lecturer in the Department of Applied Microbiology and brewing Miss Josephine Ohuche who spoke on the Dress code and University ethics intimated the freshmen on the university ethics and approved dress code for the students.

According to her, the university ethics include but not limited to; “No threats, no intimidation, no bullying, no fighting, no impersonation or forging of documents, no wearing of transparent dress that shows sexual organs, no wearing of tattered jeans with holes among others.

Miss Oduche who also doubles as the Faculty of Biosciences representative in the University dress code and ethics committee encouraged the students to strive for excellence in their academics while also making commitment to moral rectitude and good character. She also informed the students that there are penalties for defaulting students which include suspension, expulsion, fine as well as Community service and apology.

Another University Don and the Director of Center for Counseling and Career Development, Prof. Harry Obi-Nwosu who spoke on academic success and career development advised the students to participate effectively in career development courses offered by the University as it will assist them in developing their career goals and priorities.

In her presentation, Dr Chiamaka Joe-Akunne who is also the Faculty of Social Sciences career development officer encouraged the students to do their assignments themselves because it will help them understand it better.

She added, “If you don’t do well in your first year, don’t lose hope. Peer group influence kills, be positive in a circle or exit the circle, don’t frolic in a circle that is not healthy. Engage in a circle that is healthy, meditate in everything”. According to her, the keys to academic success include responsibility, discipline, and time management, among others. She urged the students to avoid procrastination, create time and abide by it, prepare for exams ahead and be present and prompt during examinations.

Similarly, Dr Alexander Orji of the Department of Economics who spoke on education, skill and vocational experience highlighted the importance of skill acquisition and vocational education. According to him, combining formal education with informal/vocational education will enhance the students’ job opportunities, create entrepreneurs and reduce graduate unemployment. Dr Orji urged the students to take advantage of the various opportunities available to them to acquire vocational skills.

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Also speaking, an alumnus of the Department and former Security personnel in the University’s Security Department, Mr Ben Ndibe warned the students to avoid parties because of initiation ceremonies particularly with unknown people. He advised the students to be security conscious and report every security threat to the appropriate authority.

In her closing remarks, the adviser to the organizing committee and a former Head of the Department of Economics, Dr Uju Ezenekwe advised the students to take what they learnt seriously because it is a guide to be a better person tomorrow. Dr Ezenekwe stated: “Our dressing code is important, dress how you want to be addressed. I am sure you will not forget what you learnt today because I believe we are catching you young. You have seen one of us here from apprentice to a lecturer. I believe when your set will be graduating, we will beat our chest and say that we have trained people”.

The convener of the event, Mr Chiemezie Ukeje thanked the guest lecturers for honouring the invitation and motivating the freshmen from their wealth of experience and exposure. He also appreciated the co-convener, Dr Joan Ozoh and other members of the Organizing Committee for their contributions in ensuring that the event was a success.

Reacting to the lectures, one of the students, Master Stanley Emeka, appreciated the organizers of the event as it was apt and timely. He believes that the orientation programme will assist the freshmen transition successfully to the university and further provide them with tips and strategies to improve their academics.
The undergraduate orientation, a first of its kind in the Department of Economics, attracted academics and dignitaries from within and outside the Department including the Sub Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Dr Kelechi Osai and others too numerous to mention. The high point of the occasion was the question and answer session where a student, Miss Nakolisa Sochi of the Department of Economics answered correctly the question on the role and relevance of Economists. This attracted an appreciation gift from one of the guest lecturer, Prof Harry Obi-Nwosu. In the same vein, Rev. Fr. Prof. BAC Obiefuna equally appreciated Miss Sochi and all the first-year students from Agulu with cash gifts.

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