Tinubu: My administration will continue to promote distance learning

By Joy Akiga
The visitor

The President and Visitor to the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, has disclosed that his administration will continue to promote the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode of education as one of the strategies to improve access to higher education in the country.

The president stated this in his speech at the 13th Convocation Ceremony of the university on Saturday, April 13, 2024 at the university’s convocation arena, university headquarters, Jabi, Abuja.

Tinubu, represented at the event by Dr. Biodun Saliu, the Deputy Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), said “We will continue to do this in order to improve quality, access and affordability.

He explained that the deployment of ODL approach in tertiary education was the major link to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

"Government is, therefore, committed through the Federal Ministry of Education and the NUC to provide the enabling environment to ensure a good delivery of this mode of education in Nigeria,” he said.

The visitor

The policy and aspiration of the federal government  being implemented by  NOUN  has been widen to accommodate the participation of the private sector. To this end, four private open universities were granted licenses to operate along-side with NOUN, he said.

We must, therefore, give priority attention to the provision of appropriate capacity and continuous capacity building of our meagre resources that will engender the confidence of stakeholders in our graduates,” the president stated.

He said that he was also aware that the Federal Ministry of Education was in the process of developing a national policy on ODL,  in collaboration with NOUN and other relevant stakeholders as approved by the National Council of Education, the highest policy-making body of education in Nigeria.

I expect the policy to provide the sustainable framework for the implementation of ODL at all levels of education in Nigeria,” Tinubu said.

The president commended the efforts of NOUN in hosting the World Bank Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL), following the postgraduate programmes in Artificial Intelligence, Management Information System and Cyber Security, among others.

According to him, every opportunity to promote the conduct of cutting-edge research that will have positive impact on humanity, will be given top priority, and will continue to encourage collaborative research that will sharpen and benefit the citizens of the  country and the world at large,

President Tinubu said the essence of extracting tertiary institutions from the use of the Integrated Personnel Payment System (IPPIS) for the payment of their staff salaries and allowances, was for proper financial management of resources. As such, he enjoined all tertiary institutions in Nigeria to ensure full implementation of the approved guild lines, to guarantee good governance and proper financial management enshrined in the institution of higher learning

I wish to reiterate at this convocation ceremony that education forms an integral part in this present administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda. Consequently, the federal government will continue to provide support towards making our tertiary education relevant and globally competitive,” he said.

Tinubu extended his heartfelt congratulations to the Chancellor, His Royal Majesty Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku’ Akpolokpolo. Ewuare II, the Oba of Benin, on his investiture as the Chancellor of the university, even as he also congratulated Chief Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma, CON, and Hajia Hafsatu Addulwaheed, on their conferment of Doctor of Business Administration (D.B) (Honoris Causa); and Doctor of Letters (D.Lit) ( Honoris Causa), respectively.   

He also congratulated the graduates for their outstanding feat, and for the potential impact as future leaders and next generation solution provenders in the national life, saying that many of them would be ambassadors beyond the shores of the country and admonished them to be well behaved as they owe NOUN the obligation to be worthy ambassadors.