Wednesday, May 31, 2023

NOUN visitation panel holds interactive session, vows to scrutinise institution

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via, or, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The Presidential Visitation Panel to the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, on Tuesday, held its maiden interactive meeting with stakeholders of the university at its headquarters in Abuja.

A statement on Tuesday by the NOUN Director of Media and Publicity, Ibrahim Sheme, said the meeting was preceded by a press conference.

According to the statement, the meeting was graced by the chairman of the university’s Governing Council, Prof. Peter Okebukola, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olufemi Peters, the principal officers and directors.

Speaking during the meeting, the Chairman of the panel, Isa Bello Sali, said that part of his committee’s assignment was to inquire into the level of implementation of the White Paper on the last visitation report.

Mr Sali, who is a former Head of Civil Service of the Federation, said the panel wouls also examine the quality of the leadership in the university.

He said the seven-man panel resolved to start by “knocking on the doors of the university by meeting with the Governing Council to seek its support and blessings without which the assignment cannot succeed.”

“Visitation panels are not new in the education sector. They are integral parts of the Ivory Tower system and so what we are here to do in the next few weeks is not strange but a continuation of a practice and a tradition that is perhaps centuries old,” he added.

While reading out the panel’s 10 terms of reference, TORs, Mr Sali stated that the group would, among others, “examine the financial management of the institution including statutory allocations and internally generated revenue over the recommended period and determine whether it was in compliance with the appropriate regulations.

“Investigate the application of funds, particularly the special grants and loans meant for particular projects, in order to determine the status of such projects and their relevance for further funding.

“Examine the adequacy of staff and staff development programmes of the university,” and “examine the general security in the university and how the university has dealt with it and recommend appropriate measures.”

Fielding questions from newsmen, the chairman clarified that the panel hoped to get the full reports of the 77 study centres nationwide from the university.

Mr Sali added that the panel would also divide itself to sub-committees to meet the target deadline set by the Federal Government.

Earlier, the NOUN Governing Council chairman, Prof. Okebukola, had welcomed the panel to the university, describing the institution as “special” due to its enrollment as the biggest on the continent, as well as its sheer student size.

Mr Okebukola described Mr Sali as the “perfect square peg for the square hole” in the assignment, being the erstwhile Head of Service of the Federation.

The V-C, therefore, assured the committee of all the necessary support it might need during the course of its assignment.

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