He Lost Passion For Medicine, Made First Class In Economics

The best graduating student of Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun State, Oluwatimilehin Sotubo, speaks to SAMUEL AWOYINFA on his road to success

The best graduating student of the ­Crawford University in the 2012/2013 convocation, Oluwatimilehin Sotubo, did not initially set out to study Economics. In fact, he had done two years as a medical student at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, before he took another Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, and secured admission to study Economics at Crawford.

Sotubo says he got fascinated to medicine because his father, Olukunle (now late), and elder brother, Tomiwa, were doctors. But after two years, he found out that he had no passion for it.

He says, “I was admitted in 2007 to study Medicine, but we resumed in 2008. I enrolled as a medical student because my dad and elder brother were doctors. I did very well in all my courses, but along the line, I discovered that I really did not have passion for Medicine.

“After a close monitoring of my dad’s schedule, I realised that the profession was too demanding. So I quit in 2009. I had to sit the UTME and applied to read Economics at the Crawford University and I passed.”

Beaming with smile, slim-built Sotubo adds that he has no regret for a change of course of study and university.

“No regret whatsoever. I believe as an economist, I can still save lives, through sound economic policies that will lead to creation of employment and development of the country,” he says.

For him to earn the best graduating student status, he notes that prayer, hard work and focus were three ingredients that led to his recording the feat.

He adds, “First, I did not joke with my studies. Again, I prayed before and after writing any of the examinations.

“I believe in the power of focus and hardwork. These attributes really helped me in becoming the best graduating student.”

For Sotubo, who beat 287 other students, scoring a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.91 out of 5 CGPA, it was no surprise that he was the cynosure of all eyes during the school’s fifth convocation last Wednesday.

Indeed, the 21-year-old received eight of the academic prizes rolled out by the university. They include the Chief Ernest Shonekan’s Prize for the most Outstanding Behaviour; Prof. Peter Okebukola’s Prize for the Best overall Graduating Student; Remi Olowude’s Prize for the Best Overall Result in Economics, and the Ngozi Osueke’s Prize for the Best Behaved Graduating Male Student.

Other prizes the lad won are the Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for the Best Student in Business and Social Sciences, University’s Prize for the Best Student in Economics, Parent Forum’s Prize for the Best Student in Business and Social Sciences and Parent Forum’s Prize for the Best Student.

For him to have earned this, does it mean that he had no time for extra-curricular activities on campus? Not quite, he responded quickly, adding that fate had a hand in all of this. According to him, he had a girlfriend while he was at 100-level, but the relationship crashed as quickly as it started.

The youngster, who attended Mayflower School, Ikenne, Ogun State adds, “Yes, I had a girlfriend while I was in 100-level, but we discovered that our views and ideas were different. We had to discontinue the relationship, and that was where I ended everything that had to do with romance on campus.”

On his role model, he notes, “I will consider anyone who is affecting the lives of the people positively anywhere he or she finds himself or herself as my role model.”

Sotubo’s mother, Adebukola, who offers an idea of her son’s next agenda, notes, “After his one-year compulsory National Youth Service Corps scheme, he will be going for his master’s programme.”

The mother of three, who works with an international agency, however, will not reveal whether he will do the programme in the country or overseas.

Meanwhile, of the 288 graduands, 17 of them made first class grade, while 62 others obtained second class upper division.

In his convocation lecture entitled: Higher education and The Nigerian 20-2020 dream, former Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Prof. Michael Faborode, examines the nation’s higher education and submits that a lot still needs to be done in the sector.

He notes that the task of rescuing and refocusing the nation’s higher education is becoming more daunting by the day. According to him, policy inconsistency and recurrent somersault is a major complication.

Faborode, who is the Secretary-General, Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, explains that the governments of emerging economies support, fund and promote institutions of higher technical learning, as well as academies of engineering and technological sciences, among others.

Also, the former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission and Crawford University Council Chairman, Prof. Peter Okebukola, notes that for the public universities to get optimal result in infrastructure development, the Federal Government’s N1.3tn revitalisation funds needed to be judiciously spent.

Pointing to a 2012 study conducted by the Global University Network for Innovation, Africa, he says though funding plays major role in improving quality, there is still need for quality university leadership, staff and students.

He adds, “With inept, inefficient and corrupt management, the huge injection of funds will have minimal impact. Second, if the students come poorly prepared from the secondary school level, with poor study habits and are morally bankrupt as a consequence of poor home training, the effect of huge buildings and fat salaries of staff brought about by the huge injection of funds will not go far.

“Third, if the quality of staff in terms of potential to deliver quality education and moral upbringing is low, we will be climbing a greasy pole in trying to improve quality of the system through funds injection only.”

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Samson Ayanlaja, notes that the university’s vision is to produce a new generation of skillful, knowledgeable and honest workforce and leaders.

He says, “We have continued to excel in the teaching and learning and acquisition of knowledge which, as we know, is the present global intangible currency that translates to skill, competence, knowhow and consequently economic development and national technical advancement.

“The university is addressing the scourge of unemployment headlong by attempting to bridge the skill gap and exposing students to hands-on entrepreneurial skills.”

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