President Bola Tinubu says his administration will continue to promote Open and Distance Learning (ODL) to improve access to higher education in the country.


Tinubu, who was represented at the event by Biodun Saliu, the deputy executive secretary, the National Universities Commission (NUC), spoke at the recent 13th convocation of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).

The event also included the investiture of Uku Akpolokpolo Oba, Ewuare II, as the third chancellor of the NOUN.

Tinubu said the deployment of the ODL is a key to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


“We will continue to do this in order to improve quality, access and affordability,” he said.

“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.”

Also speaking, Olufemi Peters, the vice-chancellor of NOUN, said the university maintains its leadership role in promoting ODL across the African continent.


The VC said the university’s status was evident when the institution was named the 1st vice-president on the board of the African Council for Distance Education (ACDE) during the seventh triennial conference and general assembly held in Kenya.

“The university continues to contribute significantly to Open and Distance e-Learning (ODeL) initiatives. The ACDE is a continental and leading organisation of African universities in ODeL and other higher educational institutions,” he said.

“We take pride in offering education that is both flexible and qualitative, yet affordable and accessible.

“We prioritise equity and equal opportunities in education at the university level, striving to widen access and promote lifelong learning.


“Since inception, NOUN has provided scholarships to about 83 inmates in correctional centres, exemplified by a current PHD student in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution.

“From a very humble beginning, the university has grown in leaps and bounds. We have brought smiles to many people who had thought university education was beyond them. Our student enrolment figures have increased.

“Our programme offerings have also increased. From about 1,230 students in 2003, the student population has now grown to about 170,000 active students in 2024 and over 100,000 alumni, straddling important sectors of our economy.

“We have grown from relative obscurity, where many in the tertiary education sector and employers within the Nigerian labour market tried to question the quality of our products, to a pre-eminent position as the undisputed leader in Open and Distance Learning in sub-Saharan Africa.”


The convocation ceremony saw 22,175 NOUN students graduate across its 120 study centres in Nigeria.

Of the graduates, 15,768 received their undergraduate degrees, 6,407 were awarded postgraduate certificates, and 22 graduated as first class.

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