Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, is among 14, 771 persons expected to receive honors at the 7th convocation of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Abdalla Adamu, NOUN’s Vice-Chancellor, has said.
The former president is expected to receive a doctorate in Christian Theology, Mr. Adamu said at a news briefing on the institution’s 2018 convocation scheduled for Jan. 20 at its headquarters in Jabi, Abuja.
He said Mr. Obasanjo would be considered for an appointment as a facilitator or supervisor as PhD is the least qualification for one to teach in the institution.
The vice-chancellor said that 14,771 is the highest number of candidates any institution in Nigeria had ever graduated at a convocation ceremony.
He said in spite of being a former president, Mr. 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; 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,’’ he said.
Mr. Adamu said because of Mr. Obasanjo’s achievement, NOUN has received requests from other older citizens.
He said 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.
Mr. Adamu said 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 Diaspora study centers in the 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 the Senate had passed the NOUN Act Amendment Bill.
He said once both chambers harmonize the bill, it would be sent for presidential assent.
Mr. 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 would be resolved.