It was fun and pageantry as the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) have formally taken possession and inaugurated the Iloffa Community Study Centre in Kwara State.
The opening of the new centre was facilitated by the Iloffa Community in Oke-Ero Local Government Area of Kwara State.
Described as a centre of excellence, it was built by the Iloffa community as title documents were officially handed over to the university on September 26, 2023.
In his remarks at the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Olufemi Peters, represented by The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Isaac Butswat, said Iloffa Community had substantially fulfilled every requirements toward the establishment of the study centre.
The Vice-Chancellor, charged the community to embark on advocacy drive in order to boost the student enrollment and justify the establishment of the centre.
He asked them not to relent on their oars by providing other basic facilities such as a bus to enhance ease of movement of staff and other needs required for further upgrading and expansion of the centre.
Peters further disclosed that the institution boasts 115 study centres across the county, adding that the inauguration of Iloffa centre has increased the number to116.
He also listed the benefits of the centre to include, accessible education for all, enhance learning experience as well as providing life-long learning for perspective individuals by offering diverse courses and proggrammes that support professional development and individual growth.
Peters expressed his optimism that they would foster unprecedented partnership and cordial relationship between the institution on one hand and the students on the other part.
The Vice-Chancellor, however, appealed to the community leaders to ensure adequate security both for the staff and students as well as guide against vandalization of the facilities’ gargets and equipment.
Representing the VC, Prof.Butswat (DVC Admin.) cutting the tape
The Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Kwara State, Dr. Mary Ronke Arinde, on her part, said with the inauguration of the centre, "Iloffa campus now belongs to the largest university in Nigeria by national spread."
According to her, the community now has been opened to the rare privilege of distance learning that is flexible to learn at any place, time and place.
She also noted that NOUN has indeed made learning accessible and very importantly available to the people of Oke-Ero community who are foremost pursuers of knowledge in accordance with the tradition of the Ekiti people of Nigeria.
In his speech the traditional ruler of Iloffa and the Alofa of Iloffa, Oba Engr. Samual Niyi Dada, expressed the community’s resolve to embarking on self-help projects in various dimensions by communal commitments to compliment government’s efforts.
He further disclosed that the project seemed tough initially, but stressed that with the determination, doggedness and diligence, the community was able to see the project to its logical conclusion.
Oba Dada, however, acknowledged the great sacrifice of the Management and Principal Officers of NOUN for their patience and perseverance in guiding the community throughout the process of getting the approval.
In his address, the Chairman of the Transition Implementation Committee, Mr. Gbenga Yusuf, implored the people of the community especially the youths to take advantage of the centre to upgrade their education standard.
He assured the university that Iloffa is a loving community, peaceful and very hospitable and accommodating, so as to discharge their duties without fear.
The highlight of the occasion was the inauguration of the centre by the Commissioner for Tertiary Education of the state, and the unveiling of the centre, as well as the presentation of the centre director, Mr. Petu Ibikunle.