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Tonye Cole, Ezekwesili task Nigerian students on resilience

Tonye Cole, co-founder/former group executive director, Sahara Group; and Obiageli Ezekwesili, a former minister of education, have urged Nexford University (NXU) graduating class of 2023 to remain resilient as they move to the next phase of life.

Cole in his keynote address at the graduation ceremony in Lagos, told the graduates to be prepared for challenges as they move to the next phase of life.

According to him, “Do not be afraid to fail, even when you do, start again, try again and retrace your steps and be courageous for every success story has stories to tell.

Ezekwesili on her part said academic institutions like Nexford would help Nigeria fix human capital deficiencies.

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Ezekwesili, who is a board member of NXU, said that the university was one of the global institutions that have visibly given the skills necessary for the 21st century.

“If we increase our gross domestic product and we spread the sources of our GDP, what we will have is inclusive prosperity, so we must have graduates of this kind from as many institutions as possible,” she noted.

Fadl Al Tarzi, the chief executive officer of Nexford University, said that the institution was proud of Nigerian learners, adding that students from the country valued education which has distinguished and placed them higher across the world.

“Nigerians in the United States are, on average, twice as educated as the average American. It is time for you to ascend to leadership, redefine perceptions, and engrave your marks on societies, whether here in Nigeria or beyond your borders.

“If your journey takes you to foreign lands, remember, you are the architects of perceptions, the ambassadors of our values. Make those lands realise the privilege of hosting Nigerian talent. Showcase your superior skills and let the world witness the value you add, and the legacy you create,” Fadl Al Tarzi said.

James Ogo-Oluwa Osinowo, the valedictorian, in his speech, narrated how Nexford University inculcated resilience, teamwork and perseverance in the learners. He also noted that the university exposed students to “possibilities and opportunities”.

Osinowo said, “Immediately I completed my MBA in January 2023, the following month saw me receive an offer for the role of group finance manager. And it’s just the beginning. One of the important lessons we’ve learned during our time here is the power of resilience. We’ve faced demanding assignments and tests, gruelling projects and sleepless nights, yet we persevered.”

One of the highlights of the occasion was the awards to five outstanding Nigerian students found worthy in academics and character.

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Among the distinction students, James Ogo-Oluwa Osinowo was awarded as the Valedictorian of the Year for Class 2023.

Other awardees were Adeshile Oluwabusayo who emerged as the Best Peer Mentor for BBA (Undergraduate Degree) and Monsuru Adebayo Popoola, Best Peer Mentor MBA (Graduate Degree).

While Daniel Oreofe was also awarded the Outstanding Volunteer of the Year, Sonter Samuel James emerged as the Outstanding Brand Ambassador.

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