How vendors smiled home during 12th NOUN convocation

By Sunday Adama


Apparently satisfied with the just-concluded 12th Convocation Ceremony of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), vendors that participated at the ceremony have unanimously voiced their satisfaction with sales and profits due to an increased crowd, signalling a clear departure from the previous ceremony's turnout.

They disclosed this while fielding questions from NOUN News on Saturday, March 25, 2023 at the university headquarters, Jabi, Abuja, where about 10,000 students and their relatives gathered for the ceremony.

Angela, a soft drink seller who brought different brands could not hide her excitement as a result of good sales, saying that she sold all her goods and also sent her daughter to bring more due to increase in demand.

"I came with 12 crates as you can see. Patronage started very early and between 9 to 10a.m,  I have exhausted all my goods. Initially, I did'nt believe I would sell anything because last year, we really suffered due to poor sales. However, this year is different," she enthused.

A food seller, Lilian, who brought cooked fried and jollof rice said she regretted not cooking enough rice for the convocation due to the unpleasant experience of the 11th convocation that recorded fewer crowd.

She said the fear of a loss did not allow her to cook enough food, recalling that during last year’s event, she recorded loses  instead of profit as people were not enough to consume the food.

"In fact, I thank God. This year is completely different. As you can see nothing remained. I have sold everything. I am appealing to the management to maintain this style of convocation. It is a good one. You can see everybody is happy," the excited Lilian said.

Also speaking in the same joyous mood was Simon, a photographer, who said he did not rest throughout the convocation ceremony due to the huge patronage.

Simon told NOUN News that snapping and taking of photographs commenced immediately he entered the Jabi's headquarters of NOUN on Saturday monrning.

"I am the happiest person today as far as this convocation ceremony is concerned. As you can see, since I came here, I have not rested. People have been coming to me for photograph and I am happy because my coming here is not in vain compared to last year where there was low patronage due to low turnout of graduands," Simon narrated.

The vendors expressed satisfaction with regard to turnout of graduating students which ultimately translated into good sales.

They called on the management to continue with this year’s style of convocation so as to enable them have hope of selling their goods and services during the ceremony.

It could be recalled that last year’s convocation, held on Saturday, February 26, 2022 was observed on and off-site where all First Class, Master's and PhD graduands were allowed into the university headquarters, Jabi Abuja, while the bulk of the number remained at their various study centres nationwide.  

However, this year’s ceremony witnessed a significant adjustment, where, in addition to First Class, Master's, PhD graduands and award winners, all graduating students at study centres within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja were allowed to converge on the convocation arena of the university.