Umossoh Otobong

Twenty-two-year old Umossoh Otobong was the best graduating student of BOWEN University, Iwo, Osun State in the 2012/2013 academic session, with a 4.97 CGPA from Accounting department. She shares her experience as an undergraduate with TUNDE AJAJA

What was the attraction in accounting for you?

I have always loved Management Science for some reasons and I like Accounting as a course and as a profession. I see it as a versatile field, coupled with my proficiency in mathematics. I had always wanted to be among those who could provide solutions to problems. That geared me towards Accounting because it is a course that is needed everywhere and there is nothing we do that does not involve management, either of money or situations; the knowledge of accounting is key. It goes beyond counting or recording money.

Can you still recall your elementary and secondary school experience?

I used to be playful when I was young, not beyond normal though, but my dad was very strict, and he would take none of that. In fact, he used to flog me and he had a way of making me prepare ahead of my class to ensure that I came out best. That helped me eventually because when I was in primary three and my brother was in primary five, I was able to do some of the things primary five pupils were doing. My secondary school period was my formative years because competition was very severe as there were many brillant students in my class. Then, you had to try your utmost best to be among the best. Being the best was not enough then, you had to be your utmost best to have a place, and that was when I learnt to study very hard.

Did anyone influence your choice of Accounting?

My mom was very encouraging and supportive. She steered me towards my choice. She told me to do whatever I had in mind to do and not what people felt I could do.

How about your dad who coerced you into being serious?

My dad had no input, not because he didn’t want to but he couldn’t. He had passed on at that time. He died in 2006 when I was in SS2.

What impact did your background make and how much did it influence you?

My dad was a great disciplinarian. He instilled in me the desire to be the best and I’d say without his drilling, I don’t know if I would have been this serious and committed to my academics. I know that coercion into studying is not enough because we always have a choice to make but he did his best and I thank God that I yielded.

One would have thought you were a genius to have a 4.97 CGPA?

Well, God has given me the gift to understand things speedily and I tried my best to work hard, coupled with God’s grace, so, I can’t say if I’m a genius. My secondary school really helped me because I learnt that putting children in classes that were very competitive could help them to work hard. If you put them in a class where everybody is average, no one would care about being the best. They tend to relax, or become local champions. You may be brilliant but you may not be motivated enough to work on yourself to bring out the best in you if you don’t see other people doing well or you have nothing at stake. So, for me, the hard work was self-driven.

How easy was it passing your West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination and Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination?

I wrote both WASSCE and UTME twice, not because I failed though. I passed UTME the first time I wrote the exam but my mum said I was too young to enter the university, so I had to wait for another year. I wasn’t happy, and I kept telling her that I wanted to go to school but she did not allow me, so I had to wait. I believe she had her reasons. While waiting at home, I wrote another WASSCE to include Commerce. I was in the science class in school while I had always had preference for Management Science. Commerce was necessary to study Accounting, so I wrote WASSCE again to be able to study Accounting, my preferred course. It was the best decision eventually because if my mother didn’t tell me to wait, I would have gone to school to study a different course. So it’s better. I wrote another UTME and passed, so I had no problem with admission.

How was your performance as a first year student?

My performance in my first year was exceedingly satisfactory. It laid a very good foundation for my success.

Can you still remember your grades?

I had 4.89 in 100L first semester, then something above 4.7 in my second semester. The rest was 5.00. I had 5.00 from my 200L to 400L when I finished. It was God’s grace. I just decided to make my mom’s investment in me worth all her sacrifices, so it was the desire to make my mum proud that motivated me to be my best. If my father were alive, I would have loved to impress him and make him proud too.

Did you ever plan to be the best graduating student in your set?

Yes. I attended the university convocation ceremony in my first year and I saw how the best graduating student was celebrated. I decided that I wanted to be in that position one day. It wasn’t very easy to get there but thank God I attained it. I wouldn’t say I did anything that was so extraordinary. I slept and read normally, even though I read more sometimes, but not beyond the extraordinary and I could read anytime. I was also involved in a few other things. I’d just say I’m highly favoured and God blessed my efforts.

What were the extra efforts, sacrifices or commitments you made?

Well, I wouldn’t say I sacrificed anything but I let go lot of many social gatherings and I made sure I understood a particular topic before the lecturer moved to the next. However, during exams, I spent most of my time reading and I read with my friends too, even though some of them found me boring when it comes to social life because I wasn’t really going out.

How often did you use the library?

Oh, very often, in fact, almost everyday, as long as there was time. In fact, I had a seat there that I was very fond of and the duration of my visit depended on my itinerary for the day.

Can you still remember the lowest grade you had?

Yes, it was a ‘B’. I had it only twice in 100L; one in my first semester and the other one in my second semester. I expected more than a ‘B’ in the first semester course, I was thankful though, but the one in second semester was not really a surprise.

Did you know all along that you would be the best graduating student?

I had an idea of it when I was nominated for an award in my 300L, but I wasn’t really sure until after our final examinations in 400L. I was not even informed I was the best until the day of the convocation. My mum was also there, and it was very rewarding.

Was there peer pressure on you?

Birds of same feather flock together. My friends had the same priorities like me. So, there wasn’t a lot of peer pressure. If anything, it was mutual encouragement to do better.

How did you use your leisure, or you never had one?

I had leisure. I spent such times watching movies, reading books and chatting with friends.

It is believed that men love to associate with brilliant and intelligent ladies; to what extent were you disturbed and how did you handle the gestures?

I was disturbed to a reasonable extent but I tried as much as possible to be respectful, polite and friendly with the opposite sex. I was not very social, so many people didn’t know me, hence, my exposure to them was somehow limited.

What are your future plans and aspirations?

By God’s grace, I plan to be a chartered accountant (currently working on that), qualify into as many professional bodies as possible, further my studies, keep myself relevant and be the best at whatever I put my efforts into.

Were you told stories by anyone about how difficult it could be to have a First Class and did such affect you in any way?

Yes, I was. However, I always told myself if God could help other people make first class, why wouldn’t He help me?

Where would you like to work?

I’m aiming high. I love to work in the World Bank or somewhere I will be relevant, help provide solutions and be adequately appreciated.

What would you advise students, both the incoming and those already in school, to do to have an excellent result?

Well, I’ll advise them to work hard and study, not only for the sake of passing examinations but also for the sake of having adequate knowledge of their chosen fields. And most importantly, pray, because we can do nothing without God’s grace and favour.

Copyright PUNCH.



Adesola Akomolafe

The best graduating student of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, in the 2012/2013 academic session, Adesola Akomolafe, 21, finished with a 4.91 CGPA from the Accounting department to lead other students and win the ultimate prize of a car. She shares her experience with TUNDE AJAJA in this interview

You won a car during your convocation ceremony as the best graduating student, did you see it coming?

Yes. I saw it coming since the time I was in 100L. During our matriculation ceremony, the Executive Director of Vital Medix Nigeria, Mr. Bimbo Owolabi, promised to give a car to the best graduating student in our set. So, I thought I could be the best, and after the matriculation, I told my dad that I could get the car gift. That was the starting point for me and I started working towards it. Thank God I achieved it.

Was that what motivated you to work hard?

It was not. I read about the best graduating student of UNILAG in 2009, Deborah Olufunmi, with a CGPA of 4.96, in the newspaper, so, I pasted the newspaper cutting on the wall of my room and read the story everyday. I used to look at the picture and read the story throughout my stay on campus. That was when I decided I wanted to be the best graduating student. That story was my major motivation and then the car promise.

Was the car gift the most valuable gift you received on your convocation day?

No. The convocation and the news that I was the overall best student attracted many people to our house. My parents felt so honoured and were very happy, so, the combination of their prayers, happiness and joy that day and beyond was the most valuable gift for me. The car was very important too.

What was your dream as a child?

I wanted to be like my mum, a medical doctor, which also influenced my decision to study in the science class but Physics just refused to sink into my head. Then, I used to read a lot of novels because I lived with my grandmother, who studied English and had lots of literature books and novels. I didn’t keep many friends, so it was a good company for me. My parents used to advise me to read my school books, newspapers and books about great women so I could aspire to be like them instead of novels. Then, my mother used to take novels away from me and would tell me to read my school books. So, I wanted to study English and Literature because I never had flare for business-related courses.

How did you end up in Accounting?

My father wanted me to study something that would fit into today’s economic reality. So, in my final year in high school, I had to choose a course that satisfied some personal requirements, and Accounting seemed to fit in. That was what informed my decision, coupled with my father’s counsel, and I’m glad I made that choice. Even though I had a poor maths background because I used to be shortsighted and sat at the back in secondary school because of the way we were arranged. So, then I had no idea of whatever was going on in the front. I only tried as much as possible to listen and I never complained to my parents because I thought it was not relevant. Thank God I scaled through, and my dad gave me all the necessary books and taught me all I needed to know.

When did you start leading your class?

In my 100L second semester, and I remember that my first GPA was 4.76, but I kept improving. The lowest grade I had was 63B in Sociology because I had some challenges with Sociology then; I just wasn’t getting it. I spoke with my mum knowing that she offered it as a course in school, so she taught me certain things. I wasn’t the only one who had issues with it, so, all of us who didn’t get it came together, taught and helped ourselves, and we all had Bs. Even though I tried so hard, I had 63B.

Was there anything you did differently to achieve success at that level?

I read more, paid attention to details and put my writing skill, which I got from my literature knowledge, into very good use. So, I made sure my work was always very neat and well organised so that the reader or lecturer would be impressed. Also, one of our lecturers advised us to sit for professional exams (the accounting technician scheme). I and some of my colleagues in school would stay back during the holiday to study for the exams. It helped me personally to understand the concepts and techniques of accounting better. I grew to love the course more, so I didn’t have any difficulty; I applied the basic principles and got it right.

Since you read more than any average student would, how often did you use the library?

I used the library very often, in fact, almost every day. Sometimes, I went there in-between classes, free periods or my free time. Apart from that, I knew that the best time for me to read was in the morning, say around 5am, or anytime I slept and woke up, so I took advantage of that. Moreover, I set daily targets for myself and I slept for maximum of four hours daily.

Would you say you were a genius or you were a product of hard work?

I am a product of hard work and nobody forced me to take things seriously. I had a goal when I got to school, and that was what I worked towards. I have always had a good performance, even in my previous schools. My performances in primary school and junior secondary school were excellent, while my performance in senior secondary school was above average, so I had no problem with my 0’Level exams and UTME. I wrote them once and passed. The moral support from my family members also played a major role. Notably, I started taking life seriously when I was made the assistant senior prefect in my school. When I got home during the break, it dawned on me that for the school to have placed that responsibility on me meant that they saw something in me that I probably didn’t see. When I started feeling responsible for other people, I felt I needed to do same for myself, reorganise my priorities, balance my academics with my social life and work on my leadership skill. So, from then, I started taking things seriously, and it paid off.

Is there anything you would have loved to do as an undergraduate that you couldn’t do?

Maybe to make a very weird hairstyle, like a red colour hairstyle, so I could look differently and not look serious all the time. Even if I did something like that, it still wouldn’t change who I am or my look but I wish I had done it.

Were you social at all?

I was not very social, but I tried. Sometimes, I attended social gatherings. If I didn’t go, I could be reading, sleeping or resting. Some social gatherings could be on a weekend that I would have a tough test the following Monday. It wasn’t always easy. How would I be partying when I had a test to write on Monday? It would not have made sense. So, sometimes, I had to stay back in the hostel and do what other students were not doing. That was one of the sacrifices to achieve my goal.

Was there any peer pressure?

There is nothing like peer pressure in my dictionary, so I avoid it, if there is anything like that. Why would I allow someone to influence me to do something that is bad or against my wish? If I have principles that work for me, it will be very difficult to bend my rules, not even through the influence of a friend. So, it’s difficult for peers to pressure me into doing the things I don’t want to do.

How easy was it to graduate with a first class honour?

It was not easy, because one had to keep up the good performance, else everything would fall back to zero. Once you know you are above 4.50, you just have to keep up because there were lots of expectations, starting from myself and a lot of people looked up to me, so I just had to keep working hard. Nobody at that level wants to fail or fall. Even when you fail, you want to show people that you can cope or manage the failure. So, I didn’t allow any low moment; I kept pressing forward.

When did you know you would be the best graduating student in your set?

I had always known from my 100L and I kept working towards it. I just had the strong feeling in my mind, beyond exercising my faith. Actually, I would say I was convinced, but my GPA could have dropped if I lost the consciousness but I was determined not to fail or go for anything less. So, the consciousness that I wanted to be, and the thought that I was, kept me going. The Vice-Chancellor called me a week to the convocation day to prepare my valedictory speech. I was at home then, so I ran downstairs to meet my mother and grandmother. They were all very happy; we were all jumping and very happy. I had always wanted to prepare and read a valedictory speech since my secondary school days but I never had the opportunity to do so, when I received the call, that was another dream fulfilled, which made my graduation the best moment of my life and the most memorable because I read the valedictory speech I had always dreamt of.

What do you aspire to be in life?

I want to be a professor.

What is your advice to students, especially those already in school?

The road to the top requires consistency, resilience and a good attitude. Attitude determines your altitude. Then always remember that the future is not waiting out there to be met. It should be created now.

Copyright PUNCH.


Air Force Institute of Technology Direct Entry 2014 admission form is out. The AFIT DE form for 2014/2015 admission exercise is now available for sale. Applications are hereby invited from interested and suitably qualified candidates for the AFIT Direct Entry admission.

Air Force Institute of Tech Direct Entry 2014
AFIT Direct Entry 2014/2015 Admission Form Out

1. The Air Force Institute of Technology is a higher education institution engaged in imparting knowledge, skills and learning to students using specialised facilities and multi-disciplinary approach; a centre of excellence for serious innovative research and development for the aerospace, aeronautical, aviation and allied industries/disciplines.

2. Admissions into programmes offered in the Institute are open to the general public. Traditionally, admission into the Institute is gained through the JAMB UTME entry route. However, admissions could also be gained through direct entry into any of the Institute’s programmes other than the National Diploma programmes. To this end, applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for preliminary and direct entry admissions into the following programmes in the 2014/2015 Academic Session:

a. Pre-National Diploma (ND) Science and Technology.

b. Certificate in Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology (CEET).

c. Pre-Higher National Diploma (Pre-HND) Programmes:

(1) Aircraft Engineering Technology (Airframe/Power Plant Option).

(2) Aircraft Engineering Technology (Avionics Option).

(3) Electrical/Electronics Engineering Technology.

(4) Purchasing and Supply.

d. Higher National Diploma (HND) Programmes.

(1) Aircraft Engineering Technology (Airframe/Power Plant Option).

(2) Aircraft Engineering Technology (Avionics Option).

(3) Electronics/Telecommunications Engineering Technology.

(4) Purchasing and Supply.

e. Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) Programmes.

(1) Aerospace Engineering (Aeromechanical Option).

(2) Aerospace Engineering (Avionics Option).

(3) Supply Chain Management.

3. The Pre-ND in Science and Technology is a one year preparatory course which aims to assist candidates attain the requirements for admission into engineering related ND programmes at the Institute. The Pre-HND in Aircraft Engineering Technology Programme, on the other hand, is a one-year orientation course specifically designed for candidates with ND in engineering fields other than aircraft engineering. The programme is meant to introduce students to aircraft engineering and also provide a good foundation for such students to further their studies in aviation related programmes.

4. The PGD in Aerospace Engineering at AFIT is a one-year programme that is specially designed to prepare candidates for a one-year MSc programme in aerospace engineering at Cranfield University, United Kingdom (UK). Candidates, who on completion of the PGD programme, wish to enrol for the Masters’ programme at Cranfield University, UK can choose to specialise in one of the following fields:

a. MSc Aerospace Vehicle Design (Airframe and Airframe Systems Option).

b. MSc Aerospace Vehicle Design (Avionics Systems Design Option).

c. MSc Thermal Power.

d. MSc Computational Fluid Dynamics.

e. MSc Flight Dynamics

5. Candidates seeking admission into AFIT’s Pre-National Diploma (Pre-ND) and certificate programmes are to write an entrance examination. Those intending to pursue Pre-Higher National Diploma (Pre-HND), Higher National Diploma (HND) and Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) Programmes would be offered direct entry admission if they meet the entry requirements. The entry qualifications for programmes offered in AFIT are as detailed below:

a. Pre-National Diploma (Pre-ND) Science and Technology.

(1) Pass in entrance examination and;

(2) Minimum of WASC/GCE/SSCE/NECO/NTC/NABTEBwith at least a pass in English Language and credit passes in 3 subjects in not more than 2 sittings. The subjects must include mathematics, physics or chemistry and one other subject from additional mathematics, statistics, technical drawing, woodwork and metalwork.

b. Certificate in Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology.

(1) Pass in entrance examination and;

(2) Minimum of WASC/GCE/SSCE/NECO/NTC/NABTEB with at least a pass in English Language and credit passes in 3 subjects in not more than 2 sittings. The subjects must include mathematics, physics or chemistry and one other subject from additional mathematics, statistics, technical drawing, woodwork and metalwork.

e. Pre-Higher National Diploma (Pre-HND) Programmes.

(1) ND with a minimum of lower credit pass (CGPA of 2.50) in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electrical/Electronics Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering, Computer Science/Engineering, Material Science Engineering or Business Administration and Management (as applicable) and;

(2) A minimum of one year post-ND cognate work experience.

(3) In exceptional cases, a candidate with ND at pass level (CGPA of 2.0 – 2.49) who has 2 or more years of post-ND cognate work experience may be considered for admission into the Pre-HND programme.

f. Higher National Diploma (HND) Programmes.

(1) ND with a minimum of lower credit pass (CGPA of 2.50 and above) in Aircraft Engineering Technology, Electrical/Electronics Engineering Technology or Business Administration and Management (as applicable) and;

(2) A minimum of one year post-ND cognate work experience is required for the 2014 AFIT Direct Entry HND admission.

(3) In exceptional cases, a candidate with ND at pass level (CGPA of 2.0 – 2.49) who has 2 or more years of post-ND cognate work experience may be considered for admission into the HND programme.

g. Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) Programmes in Aerospace Engineering. A minimum grade of second class honours in engineering, material sciences or physics.

h. Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) Programme in Supply Chain Management. A minimum grade of second class honours in Purchasing & Supply and other related fields.
How to apply for the Air Force Institute of Tech Direct Entry 2014/2015

6. Interested candidates are to download the application forms from the documents below: Download Pre-ND Form( , Download Pre-HND Form( , Download HND Form( , Download PGD Form( . Duly completed forms are to be accompanied by deposit slips, evidencing due payments into AFIT Academic Branch Bank Account (Guaranty Trust Bank PLC Account Number 0127547975) of N3,500:00 (for the Pre-ND, CEET and Pre-HND Programmes) and N5,000:00 (for HND and PGD programmes). Candidates are to submit their duly completed application forms and copies of deposit slip by hand to the AFIT Academic Branch Registry or through courier service not later than 30 June 2014 to the following address:
AFIT Direct Entry Examination Date for 2014/2015 Admission

7. The entrance examination for candidates that apply for the 2014 AFIT Pre-ND and certificate programmes is scheduled to take place on same day and venue with the Institute’s post-UTME test. Details of the venue and timings for the examination are to be communicated later.

It is to be noted that candidates who failed to meet the application form submission deadline may still be able to submit their applications at the venue of the entrance examination.