President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated former president Olusegun Obasanjo for bagging a doctorate degree at the National Open University (NOUN).
Buhari, who was the visitor at 7th Convocation of NOUN on Saturday in Abuja, described Obasanjo as the “Father of Open and Distance Education in Nigeria.’’
Obasanjo, who was among the 14,769 graduands, was conferred with Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Theology, thereby making him the first PhD product of NOUN.
Out of the number, 41 bagged first class honours.
Represented by Professor Abubakar Raheed, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Buhari said that it was Obasanjo’s belief in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) that made him enroll in NOUN.
“Obasanjo, because of his quest for quality education, could have opted to fulfill his desire for university education in Ivy League universities of the world and none of them could have denied him this opportunity.
“NOUN and indeed Nigerians, will continue to appreciate your belief, recognition of and support for ODL in Nigeria; we are proud of you,’’ he said.
Buhari said that his administration desired that Nigerian universities, irrespective of their mode of delivery, would deliver on national needs and aspiration as well as be strategically positioned to compete internationally.
The visitor said that as a result of the centrality of the curriculum in the delivery of quality university education, he had charged NUC to ensure periodic review of Nigerian university curriculum.
Earlier in his address, Professor Abdalla Adamu, NOUN’s Vice-Chancellor said 14,769 students across all disciplines marked the largest number of students ever graduated in NOUN.
Adamu said that the greatest pride of the event was the graduation of Obasanjo as NOUN’s first PhD student.
“His successful completion of a rigorous course of study and going through the numerous examination processes leading to PhD in Christian Theology and its confirmation by the University Senate in January is his most powerful statement about lifelong education.
“His patience and perseverance in pursuing a doctorate degree programme at his age and status in life is a roadmap to all of us.
“It clearly communicates three credos: you are never too old to learn; you are never too powerful to learn and you are never too full of learning
“Obasanjo embodies all these and therefore becomes the poster boy of education renaissance. Nigeria congratulates the oldest PhD graduating student in its history,’’ he said.
See photos from the event below: