Determined to enhance the visibility of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), the former Head of Department, Mass Communication, Dr. Chidinma Henrietta Onwubere, has taken personal advocacy campaign on the institution to a church in Abuja.
Onwubere, who called on other staff of the University to replicate such move, said advocacy visit to churches and mosques would go a long way to attracting more Nigerians to NOUN.
She made this known in a memo sent to the NOUN's Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olufemi Peters on 6 September, 2021, of which a copy was made available to the Directorate of Media and Publicity (DMP) of the University.
The memo was titled: ‘Advocacy Report held at Church of Holy Trinity (CHT), Lugbe Archdeaconry in Kubwa Diocese of Abuja.'
She said : "This type of activity can be replicated, in places of worship and prayers especially during any positive event that will bring youths together. This will enhance the physical visibility of the institution personnel and their activities and will greatly complement our online presence. "
According to Onwubere,: "I actually started some quiet advocacy for NOUN in church since I registered in this church in 2017 and I am glad to say that it has yielded meaningful results for both the institution and on the part of students.
"Though, not formally planned, this advocacy initiative took a formal dimension as the Vicar, CHT, Lugbe Archdeaconry in Kubuwa Diocese of Abuja, allowed me few minutes for a brief exposition of the purpose of the advocacy trip and the need to direct the congregation to the content of that NOUN brief literature (NOUN at a Glance).
"The church was held sway as they listened attentively to my presentation and in acceptance of the issues I highlighted. The initiative was really worth the effort.
"Consequently, seven NOUN students across five faculties who had previously abandoned their programmes due to lack of counsel, have revived them and five of them have graduated and collected their certificates," she said.
While describing the advocacy campaign to the church as huge success, the Associate Professor in Broadcasting said the Vicar, Venerable Simon Alfred Obisike, has indicated interest in Ph.D. Programme in Religious Studies, among other members, who also showed interest in other courses of their choice.
"My phone lines have been buzzing since Sunday, the 29th of August, till the time of this report, all in the bid to get further information about NOUN.
"I have been receiving several calls from parishioners even as I am in my professional conference here in Port Harcourt. Many questions were asked about NOUN programmes," she added.
Convinced by the effectiveness and efficiency of personal advocacy campaign, the erudite scholar reiterated that this type of activity is a soul –lifting encouragement that will have a tremendous impact on the society as regards the modus-Operandi of NOUN.
While thanking the management of NOUN and the VC in particular for the success of the personal advocacy campaign, she said, "this is to most sincerely thank you Sir for the approval of the advocacy items that I requested, for the purpose of creating further awareness of NOUN activities in my church, Church of Holy Trinity, Lugbe Archdeaconry in the Kubwa Diocese of Abuja
"This event has not only made me an ambassador of NOUN in Church of Holy Trinity (CHT), but has equally made me physically visible in the affairs and welfare of CHT youths."
It would be recalled that advocacy is part of the key point agenda of the incumbent Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olufemi Peters since his assumption of office on 11 February, 2021.
Click on the link to watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/bUO3S6XK-8E