Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, is among 14, 771 graduating students that will bag honours at the 7th convocation of the National Open University of Nigeria(NOUN), Prof. Abdalla Adamu, NOUN’s Vice-Chancellor, has said.
Adamu disclosed this while briefing newsmen on NOUN’s 2018 convocation scheduled for Nov. 20 at the institution’s headquarters, Jabi, Abuja.
He said that Obasanjo would be considered for an appointment as a facilitator or supervisor as PhD was the least qualification for one to teach in the institution.
The vice-chancellor said that 14,771 graduands was the highest any institution in Nigeria had ever convoked.
He said that despite being a former president, Obasanjo conducted himself properly and deservedly bagged Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Theology.
“One of the graduands is the first PhD graduate the institution will produce; a university must graduate students at academic Masters Level before graduating PhD.
“Only one candidate has been able to do that and that is Obasanjo; the Senate has found him worthy of the award and approved the conferment of PhD on him.
“There are lessons to be learnt from Obasanjo’s feat—one is never too old to learn; Obasanjo was about 80 years when he started the programme and has finished it at 82.
“Again, one is never too powerful to learn to learn; he was the president twice and yet subjected himself to learning; learning is a humbling process
“We will consider him for the post of a facilitator or supervisor; maybe for our Abeokuta Study Centre; we will suggest it to him.’’
Adamu said that because of Obasanjo’s achievement, NOUN had received requests from other older citizens.
He said that the institution was able to graduate such a huge number of students because it had created its own internal data management which was previously handled by external vendors.
The vice-chancellor said that students who were hitherto not cleared by the external vendors had been cleared.
He said that NOUN’s Business School would soon take off and would run nine professional programmes.
Adamu said that the institution had created Centre for Entrepreneurship Studies which would generate employment opportunities for the graduates.
According to him, NOUN has opened linkages with foreign universities in order to broaden its scope.
“Sussex University in the UK has reached out to us-to be its hub in Nigeria; Open University of UK , University of South Africa among other are partnering with us.
“We are expanding to create diasporic study centres in Niger Republic, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Gambia, Senegal among others.
“These are still subject to approval from the National Universities Commission, the Federal Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,’’ he said.
On the standoff between NOUN and the Council for Legal Education over the status of Law graduates, he said that the Senate had passed the NOUN Act Amendment Bill.
He said once the both chambers harmonise on the Bill, it would be sent for presidential assent.
Adamu said that once, the amendment was signed into Law, all controversies surrounding the Law programme as well that concerning the National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) would be resolved.