The management of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) has denied misinformation of it trying to exploit its graduating class of 2020/2021, who were told to top-up their convocation fee and pay for memorabilia charges.
The institution’s director of Corporate Affairs, Kunle Akogun, made the declaration in a statement titled “Our Position On Memorabilia”, on Tuesday.
He said the management has the right to determine what materials are necessary and at the most reasonable rates for its students or graduates.
It partly read, “The attention of the Management of the University of Ilorin has been drawn to a social media news report on a planned protest by a group of former students of the University with respect to some convocation items they are expected to have.
“These are their personal effects and necessary commemoratory mementos for the successful completion of their programmes at the University.”
It was gathered that the graduates protested the alleged extortion by the institution in the forthcoming combined 37th and 38th convocation ceremony billed to be held October 20 and 21, citing short notice and the country’s economic situation, among others.
In a memo dated October 3, 2023, obtained with ref number: UIL/UCSC/131 by PUNCH Online on Monday, the institution introduced memorabilia, which includes branded T-shirts, scrolls, and lapel pins for graduates at the rate of N10,000.
But UNILORIN faulted the action of the protesting graduates, noting that they should have demonstrated a knowledge of the prevailing economic reality in the country and appreciated the good disposition of the University management in arriving at this rate, which the university described as its “lowest possible”.
The statement further read, “For the avoidance of doubts and for record purposes, members of the public and our former students should note that this matter is about graduands and indeed, convocation ceremonies; the rates attached to the items are the least and indeed the lowest available in the light of the economic realities of the country; it is not in our character at the University of Ilorin to exploit; the University has always been very considerate in fixing its charges, which remain the cheapest among public universities in the country; our graduands, are worthy in character and learning, and would always live above board with the display of sound knowledge of the prevailing economic situation in the country.
The management also asserted that the “misguided individuals” are only protesting for their primordial and selfish reasons while emphasising that a large number of the graduates have paid for the items and convocation.
However, the University failed to address the alleged convocation top-up of N17,700 by the graduating class.