Yesterday, the internet went astir, when a laudable but rare news tossed the wave. It was the Nigerian Society of Engineers, under the able leadership of Engr Babagana Muhammad who had just compensate the 2020 UTME best candidate, Egoagwuagwu Agnes Maduafokwa, alongside other 15 with a whopping sum of 16 million Naira.

I reeled in disbelief when the news got to me. As I try to confirm if I was not dreaming. The fault is not mine, it has been a while a commendable act like that breaks the internet. Especially, in a country where millions of Naira is either awarded to dance competitions, rap battles or immoral TV shows. Whereas, those who are setting mouthwatering records academically are only compensated with token.

Or shall we forget so soon, the 2017 best graduating student of UNICAL, Mr Agala Egbe, who despite topping his mate with an outstanding CGPA of 4.89 out of possible 5.00 was only rewarded with a yucky prize of 10,000 Naira on their 30th convocation ceremony. Thanks to other bodies who later reached out to him, if not, that would have been the reward for the giant strides he took for years in the University.

A similar scenario was reported in 2018, when Ekiti State University rewarded her best graduating student from the Faculty Agricultural Science, Uwagwu Oluwadamilare Samuel with a sum of Two Thousand Naira. While his fellow from Faculty of Arts, Fashina Aderonke Ashabi was rewarded with 250 Naira. How disgusting? So!

Gone are those days when academic excellence were valued. Lately, if it is not about SUV motors to rap battles, it is about endorsement deals for dance competitions. The most distasteful of all is millions given to those who had sex on live TV. What a misplaced priority?

With the decreasing numbers of young minds willing to attend higher institutions, it is better to appreciate the ones doing well among them. Else, the slang ‘school na scam’ will remain a forever song on their lips.

Born and bred in Ibadan, Hashim Yussuf Amao is a Graduate of University of Ilorin. He tweets via @LegalBard

He can be reached via hashimlegalbard@gmail.com

Born and bred in Ibadan, Hashim Yussuf Amao is a Graduate of University of Ilorin. He tweets via: @LegalBard