81 students with First Class degrees are among the 15,289 graduands to be conferred with first degrees, postgraduate diplomas, higher degrees and honorary degrees at the 41st convocation ceremony of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria at Mamman Kontagora Square on Saturday. The number is made up of 10,803 first degrees and 4,486 postgraduates. The postgraduates comprise 304 PhDs, 12 M.Phil, 3,092 Masters , 38 MBA by Distance Learning, and 1,020 postgraduate diplomas. A statement signed by Registrar, Abdullahi Ahmed Kundila, gave the breakdown of the first degrees as follows: first class -81, second class upper -2,043, second class lower -6,885, Third Class Honours -1,502, pass degree -114 and unclassified degree -178. According to the statement, there are 15 best graduating students for the 2017/2018 across all faculties of the University who will receive different prizes at the event from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ibrahim Garba. As for the honorary degrees, the statement said the University will equally confer a Doctor of Letters on Billionaire business mogul and President Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, and a Doctor of Science on former President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Hassan Adebayo Sunmonu. Kundila noted that the two honorary degrees recipients will be honoured for their immense contributions to the economic development of Nigeria and humanity in general. He listed activities lined up for the Convocation to include commissioning of a number of projects all over the University by the minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu on Friday morning. He said the projects include twin deanery building for Faculties of Life and Physical Sciences, Geology Department extension, ABU Business School extension, ABU Site II entrance gate, Area G internal road, and Biochemistry Department extension. Also on Friday, there will be a Convocation Lecture at 3pm at the University Assembly Hall to be delivered by Founder/Chairman of Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG) and former President, Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede. The lecture is to be chaired by Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Abubakar Adamu Rasheed. On Thursday, executive secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, will witness the showcasing of some ABU Centres of Excellence and commission projects all at the famous Kashim Ibrahim Library (KIL). This will be after the Vice-Chancellor unveils the new signage of ABU gates at ABU main entrance and North gate. The convocation will be rounded off with commissioning of 10 blocks consisting of 360 rooms built at ABU site II and donated to ABU by President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, to alleviate the acute shortage of student accommodation in the University. The student hostel blocks named after the donor (Aliko Dangote Hall) is to be commissioned by Alhaji Dangote himself. Another three blocks of hostels also constructed in Site II by the University under the NEEDS Assessment Intervention project 2013 will be commissioned by the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris. These hostels are named after the Emir in appreciation of the dogged fatherly role he always plays in the affairs of the University since his ascension to the throne as Emir of Zazzau, forty years ago. The Visitor to the University, President Muhammadu Buhari will be the special guest of honour, while Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufa’i, is to serve as the chief host, with the Emir of Zazzau as the royal father of the day.