The vice-chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Professor Olufemi Peters, on Thursday, August 10, 2023, paid a courtesy visit to Delta State deputy governor, His Excellency Sir Monday John Onyeme, at Asaba, the capital city of Delta State.
Peters, who was accompanied on the visit by a retinue of his management staff stated, while addressing his host, that the purpose of the visit was to rejoice "with you on the assumption of your exalted public service position of the deputy governor of Delta State."
"On this visit, we not only re-affirm our deep-rooted connections to His Excellency Sir Monday Onyeme, but also through you, embrace a significant hope and expectation in ensuring the blossoming of a great friendship between our esteemed institution and the good people of Delta state," Peter said.
Taking a walk back into memory lane, the vice-chancellor said, "It is possible for some people in this gathering not to be aware that before venturing into the illustrious path of politics in his home state of Delta, Sir Monday Onyeme was an integral part of the NOUN management and family."
It would be recalled that Sir Monday Onyeme has held sway the position of bursar at the National Open University of Nigeria for almost a decade.
"I recall with nostalgia, the enthusiasm and buzz you brought to the university on assumption of office as bursar," Peter said.
He reiterated that the visit was "akin to a homecoming to a friend."
This visit "is a testament to the enduring relationship between Sir Onyeme and the National Open University of Nigeria,"he added.
"We seize this occasion to appreciate the journey you have embarked upon, post-NOUN, a journey that mirrors our institution's values and ideals, and we celebrate the embodiment of those values in your public services to state and country."
"Your excellency, Sir, it will not be a surprise, that one day, this journey of yours, from being our bursar to the esteemed position of deputy governor of Delta State and who knows NEXT...."
He said that the ascendancy of Sir Onyeme "has filled us with immense pride" and would make a good subject of research activity at our university, "in attainment and achievements of a public servant."
The vice-chancellor informed his host that NOUN has increased the number of its study centres to 114 across the country, including Delta State, with four new ones awaiting inauguration in no distant future.
While reminding the deputy governor of the pivotal role he played in the establishment of the Asaba Study Centre of the university, Peters urged him to use his good offices to intervene in the challenges facing the institution in Delta State with particular reference to Asaba Study Centre and Onicha Ugbo Community Study Centre.
Enumerating such challenges as insecurity at Onicha Ugbo Community Study Centre and erosion menace at Asaba Study Centre, Peters prayed Onyeme to assist the university in resolving them, as well as providing boreholes and vehicles at all NOUN study centres in Delta State.
In response, Onyeme expressed his profound joy in receiving his former colleagues.
He said that while it would be difficult to promise the provision of vehicles, he would talk to the Delta State Commissioner of Police for the possibility of siting a police station close to Onicha Ugbo Community Study Centre to curb the menace of armed robbery and other criminal activities around the area.
The deputy governor also promised to visit Asaba Study Centre within the following week for a first hand assessment of the centre's challenges to enable him resolve the erosion challenges.
Other staff of the university in the vice-chancellor's entourage included Prof. Uduma O. Uduma, deputy vice-chancellor (Academic), Malam Nasir Marafa, bursar; Mr. Oladipo Ajayi, registrar; and Dr. Angela Okpala, librarian, among others.