Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said he would not search for a job with his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) certificate recently obtained from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
Speaking during the NOUN’s seventh convocation in Abuja over the weekend, Obasanjo, who bagged PhD in Christian Theology from the university, said the certificate would not serve as his ‘meal ticket’ but rather a service to humanity.
He said: “I do not need the PhD certificate as a meal ticket from tomorrow or indeed now. I do not intend to apply for a job relating to my area of specialisation attaching my brand new certificate.
“However, I want all to know that I enrolled for the programme, to be more knowledgeable, productive, and serviceable to humanity and to my God. If at any time my services are required as a result of my specialisation I will gladly render such services as part of my society and community development efforts.”
Speaking at the event, Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, said the convocation was historic following the university ability to graduate 14,769 students at once.
He said the feat, was made possible through proper in-house management of data as against the hitherto external vendors handlers.
While listing several success stories attained by the university within the last one year, which cut across academic, infrastructures, and economic recovery programmes, Prof. Abdalla said the recent amendment of NOUN Act would further catapult the institution to a greater height.
His words: “One of our outstanding developments in 2017 was the passage of our amended Act at the Senate on 6th July 2017. You may recall how the Council of Legal Education has refused to admit NOUN law graduate into Law School to be called to the Bar.
“With the amendment of our Act, this should subsequently pave the way for law students to be admitted to the Law School, as well as participate in the National Youth Service Corps. We are eagerly waiting for the resolution of this process in the next stages which will usher in a new era of opportunities for thousands of our graduates.”
The visitor to the university, President Muhammadu Buhari, who expressed delight over NOUN’s exploits, said the university has lived up to expectations in meeting the education needs of hundreds of thousands of Nigerians.
Represented by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, the president said that government would continue to accord NOUN graduates due recognition to buttress the fact that they are not inferior to those from conventional universities.
“There shall be no discrimination in terms of employ-ability and opportunity for graduates of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) programmes to pursue higher degrees either in conventional universities or the ODL setting,” he said.