he Alumni Association of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUNAA) has launched a N1Billion appeal fund for its Alumni Village in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The launch followed its maiden Public Lecture held at the NOUN, Abuja Model Study Centre with Professor Tomola M. Obamuyi of the Department of Economics, Federal University of Technology, Akure in Ondo State as guest lecturer which was held on the first day.
The theme is: “The roles of open university education in nation building”. The 2-day event was attended by some notable personalities in the country alongside the management of the university.
The National President of the association, Muntaka Abdul-Hadi Dabo in his address stated that the Alumni Village is principally targeted at having an entrepreneurial centre for skills acquisition as a contribution to eradicating joblessness in the society which he said was responsible for increasing rate of insecurity.
Mr. Dabo said that the institution has continued to make positive impacts in the society recalling that some inmates of the Nigerian Correctional Centres have also become beneficiaries of the vision of the federal government for the establishment of the institution as they graduated recently while in custody as practiced in advanced countries of the world.
“It is amazing that one of the inmates of the Nigerian Correctional Centre recently emerged a best graduating student from the custody despite the incarceration which speaks volume on the great vision of NOUN which is taking education to the doorsteps of the people.
“As the largest alumni body in sub-Saharan Africa, NOUNAA will continue to set a model for others to follow towards having a desirable society”, Dabo stated.
He emphasized that the vision of the government through the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) towards eradicating illiteracy in the society should be embraced and supported by corporate bodies as a social responsibility arguing that by the approach of taking education closer to the people, it has resulted in reducing the number of uneducated in the society.
In recognition of the impacts the institution has made so far, the alumni association presented an award to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo whose administration as Nigeria’s president eventually established the university. Other awardees are former governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu; Emir of Hajia, Alhaji Adamu Abubakar-Maje; Hon. Hajiya Inna Galadima, Dr. Samson Adewale Adegoke, and former governor of Imo State, Owelle Senator Rochas Okorocha who was recognized for his educational initiatives and generosity in empowering thousands of people from poor families to acquire education through his foundation.
An award was also presented to the Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Prof Olufemi Peters for his ‘exceptionalism’ according to the NOUNAA President adding that his approach to issues since assumption of office has continued to take the institution to the next level in all ramifications citing the resolution of NOUN law graduates’ crisis who are presently at the Nigerian Law School. Other awardees include the Director, Advancement and Linkage, Mrs. Omorogieva E. Ileka and former NOUNAA National President, Mr. Fidelis Agunbiade, among recipients.
Mr. Dabo also emphasized that the alumni association conceived the Alumni Village and to venture into economic empowerment programmes for its members and the general public as a way to reduce unemployment that many graduates face after leaving tertiary institution, and therefore called on well-meaning Nigerians and corporate bodies to partner and support the group in actualizing the great vision.