The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) will on Saturday graduate 20,799 students, with 103 of them to be awarded First Class certificates.
The event will be the eighth annual convocation ceremony of the university.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Abdalla Adamu, disclosed this at a press conference on Tuesday at the institution’s headquarters, Jabi District, Abuja.
Mr Adamu said as a weapon of mass instruction, people are now accepting Open Distance Learning (ODL) as a way and system of self-training.
He said following President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent December 7, 2018 to the National Open University Amendment Act, graduates of the university will henceforth participate in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
He said its law graduates can also go to the Nigerian Law School.
Mr Adamu said the Act allows the National Open University to operate as other universities in Nigeria.
He said NOUN also has the same power and functions and the same administrative structures as other universities, thus eliminating discrimination against its products.
“Negotiations have started between NOUN and agencies responsible for NYSC and Law School. We are also willing to accept whatever conditions are given to accept our students in Law School and NYSC.”
The vice-chancellor said NOUN gives hope to the hopeless in Nigeria in the pursuit of university education.
“It is only NOUN that gives opportunity to prisoners to study, while at the same time serving their jail terms.
“Presently, we have more than 400 prisoners who are studying under NOUN. There is also a particular prisoner who was sentenced to life imprisonment, but he is undergoing his PhD studies. Very soon we will engage him as our facilitator.”
Mr Adamu also revealed that a former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, receives N40,000 annually as an allowance for being a facilitator of the university.
“Mr Obasanjo’s allowance is N40,000 a year and he is happy being our facilitator. He has an office in our Abeokuta Study Centre, where we attached to him two students of Christian Theology.”