Your role is to support, make life easy for the students - VC tells NICC staff

By Ijapari Ben-Hirki
VC in a group photograph with NICC Staff,Principal Officers and other Management staff


The Vice-Chancellor National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Olufemi Peters, has implored staff of NOUN Information Communication Centre (NICC) to be proactive, friendly and courteous in the discharge of their responsibilities to students who are the main clients of the institution. 

Peters, stated this while delivering his address during the opening ceremony of a 4-Day training on 'Effective Communication and Customer Service Skills for Call Centre staff, organized by the NOUN’s Directorate of Staff Training and Development (ST&D) held at the Brookeville Hotel, Lokogoma, Abuja.

According to the VC, this training became very imperative as many  students were still not satisfied with the responses they are getting as regards to their complaints. 

He said : “We are in the business of offering education, our mission is to reachuh as many people as possible, wherever they are. 

VC delivering his opening address


"It is important to improve our efficiency and improve the way our students stay with us and this is why we are here. I have promised to get personal phones, which will be recharged; to help with all this. We want this to be a career for all of you and move along this line under the directorate of learner’s support services so that eventually one of you can be a director of that place. 

“No matter the challenges they might be facing, you’d want them to ease their frustration and that is the main essence of why we are here and also the main essence of what we refer to as learner support services.

"As a staff of NOUN, it is important to know that there are differences between the challenges that students of NOUN and other students from conventional universities face and this is the major reason that NICC exists.

“Our students are lonely students, they are students who study alone, and because they study alone, there are many things that could make them not to study; there are so many things that could frustrate them, so it is that frustration that you want to reduce. 

A Cross section of participants


“The NICC has always been in existence since the establishment of NOUN, it was initially called the Visitors Information Call Centre (VICC) but because of the new drive, we decided to change the name and change the way they operate. Your role is to support and make life easy for the students; when they have challenges, you find a way of easing those challenges. 

“My expectation of this training is that at the end of the day, you show more courtesy, friendliness and know how to communicate with the students; either by phone or when you reply them by mail or whichever mechanisms you use in solving their problems for them. 

“It is my hope that by the time we finish this training, the MD of Facilitation and Training Services Limited would say we have gained things that would make us friendlier in the manner that we approach our clients; this is the essence of my being here today, to demonstrate my support. Do not let the head of your unit or the university down.”

On her part, the Head, NICC Unit, Ms. Wosilatu Ainodion, stated that the unit  was established to assist in carrying out the mandate of the university by providing education to the doorstep of every interested Nigerian. 

Head, NICC Unit,  Wosilatu Ainodion delivering her address


“Against this backdrop, the NICC, alongside the E-ticketing platform was established with the goal of consistently fulfilling NOUN’s mission through exceptional service delivery. 

"The E-ticketing platform was launched by the Vice-Chancellor, who driven by his passion, and determination to ensure that NOUN fulfills its mission and achieves global recognition, initiated the platform. 

“The concept of the NICC therefore, is to provide relevant and accurate information about the institution to all who engage with NOUN. Our pride, the e-ticketing platform, utilizes a paperless electronic document system to create a robust leaner support system, effectively addressing queries from NOUN students on any issue that relates to the essence of their studentship, " she said. 

Speaking further, Ainodion said that the training was aimed at  equipping the staff with knowledge and skills on elevated customer service standards, technological mastery, strategic communication expertise, adaptive problem solving and cultivation of team cohesion.

The Director,ST&D Mrs. Eunice Riki representing the Registrar


She  admonished the NICC staff to embrace the opportunity given to them as it would aid in enhancing the communication skills, assist with problem solving, information sharing abilities and help in enabling them convey information with clarity, empathy and precision.

She further commended the Vice-Chancellor and the management team for championing the initiative and investing in the continuous improvement of staff.

The director, ST& D Mrs. Eunice Riki represented the registrar, assured the Vice-Chancellor and the management staff who were present that the training would bring about massive difference in the activities of the NICC unit.

Also present at this event were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic; Prof. Chiedu Mafiana, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Administration; Prof. Isaac Butswat and the University Librarian; Dr. Angela Okpala, among others.