Otukpo centre in dire need of face lift - Ikpe

By Joy Akiga
Dr Ikpe

Dr. Adakole Ikpe is the Director of Otukpo Community Study centre of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). In a chat recently with the NOUN News correspondent, Joy Akiga, in his office, he gave some insights into the activities of the centre and some challenges.


How can you describe your tenure as the director of Otukpo community centre thus far? 

It is quite a challenging period generally due to the present day realities, where an average man finds it difficult to survive due to the economic realities on ground. But in any case we must think out of the box to forge ahead.

What type of advocacy drive have you chosen to increase students enrolment? 

On the part of advocacy, we carry out periodic advocacy visits to schools, MDAs, markets and neighbouring local government areas within our localities to increase enrolment. Despite the inadequate funds at hand, we are trying to also liaise with the local FM station here to widen our reach and make the centre visible.

How have you been able to cope with increased students enrolment?

Increased enrolment is what we have been working hard to achieve, so it is a thing of joy that we are making progress gradually and we will continue to work hard until we achieve the goal of the university. So we are always ready for it.

What measures have you put in place to boost the IGR of the centre, in order to rely less on the management for finances?

We have done that by setting up an internally generated revenue (IGR) centre where students carry out their registrations and other activities at a subsidised rate so as to enable us rely less on the management for finances.

What are you doing to make the centre conducive for students learning? 

Apart from creating a conducive environment for students, we also carry out periodic staff training and by sensitising them on how to relate with the students, so as to make them feel at home in the course of their activities within the school environment.

As the community centre director, how have you been able to use that to your advantage? 

It is an awesome experience because being the director has made me to be acquainted with the norms and values of the community and it has made it feasible to meet with the community leaders for the common good of the centre.


What can you say about the centre generally?

What I can say is that, this centre was inaugurated on the 23rd January 2009, amongst other community study centres but it is one of the fastest growing centre among its equals. Equally, in a bid to enlighten the society on the benefits and purpose of open and distance learning, and by extension the NOUN, the study centre has embarked on series of aggressive advocacy drives within Otukpo town and its environs to provide a wider access to quality education within the locality.

What are your motivations and future plans for the centre? 

My major motivation is the fact that I have passion for my academic work and also the hard working staff I have here in the centre who are always willing to carry out tasks at any given period or time. While my future plans are to intensify our advocacy champagns for increased in enrolment and also to carry everyone along as I have always done in terms of our plan to contribute our quota to the growth of the centre and the university at large.

As the director, what are your prayers to the management? 

My prayer to the management is to encourage them not to relent in their drive for actualisation of the university's goals, providing highly accessible and enhanced quality education to the masses in the country and also in staff motivation.

It will also be elating if management can assist with the renovation of the centre because it is desirous of a facelift as since the year 2009 that the centre was inaugurated no such intervention has occurred and the facility is beginning to depreciate and degrade. 

Even though a team was sent by our able Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olufemi Peters, in November, 2022 with the assurance that something would be done pronto, this is yet to be actualised.