By Usman Shuaibu
The management of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has said that plans are underway to establish Offshore Study Centres (OSC) in West African Countries.
The vice chancellor of the University, Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, who made this known in an address presented during the 7thconvocation ceremony at the Headquarters of the university, Jabi, Abuja on Sunday.
He disclosed that the leadership of the university graduated a total number of 14,769 students cut across different disciplines, noting that this year’s graduation ceremony recorded the largest number of students so far passed out from the institution.
He said: “Our ability to graduate 14, 769 students this year was because we took control of data management away from external vendors who had no idea on how the University examination and grading systems work”.
He further added: “our greatest pride today, however, is the graduation of our first PhD student and he is no other person that His Excellency Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a former President and also a head of state of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. His successful completion of a vigorous course of study and going through the numerous examination processes leading to PhD in Christian Theology and its confirmation by the University Senate on Thursday 11th January, 2018 is his most powerful statement about lifelong education”.
He praised Chief Olusegun Obasanjo for obtaining a doctorate degree programe at his age in the University. This according to him, you are never too old to learn, you are never too powerful to learn and you are never too full of learning.
Prof. Uba Adamu, however, pointed out that chief Chika Okpala popularly known as Chief Zebrudaya Okorigwe Nwogo alias 4.30 was among the students who graduated with an MBA in the faculty of Management Sciences.
He said he would continue to initiate programmes aimed at improving the lives of Nigerians, while commending the graduands for their efforts put together to face their studies squarely at the University.
Speaking at the occasion, the President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Adamu Abubakar Rasheed, said to his administration would remain committed to the development of education in the country.
The president advised the graduating students to be good ambassadors of NOUN in anywhere they found themselves and congratulated Chief Olusegun Obasanjo for bagging a doctorate degree in the institution.
Also speaking, the first PhD holder of NOUN, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who was one of the graduands, charged the authority of the University to always listen to the student complains.
He said he would come to the aid of the University whenever the need arose, calling on the Federal Government to focus on the development of the University.
On his part, the Chancellor of NOUN, Igwe (Dr) Lawrence Okolio Chikezie Agubuzu, appealed to the Federal Government to deem it necessary to intervene in the lingering crisis or dispute existing between NOUN and the Council of Legal Education as well of NYSC.
Agubuzu thanked the government of the day for the support accorded to the University, urging the government to also extend its aid to the University study centres.
In his goodwill message, the governor of Bayelsa state, Seriake Henry Dickson commended the principal officers of the University for their efforts towards the progress of the institution.