The Zamfara State Government has ordered the construction of a N400 million worth National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Study Centre in Gusau, the state capital.
Governor Bello Matawalle, who gave the directive during a working visit to NOUN’s headquarters in Abuja, also pledged to sponsor an initial 200 students into the University.
Matawalle said his decision is borne out of his desire to fast track the development of education in the state, adding that his administration is committed to building a virile youth for the future prosperity of the state.
“I am convinced that NOUN is the right institution to assist in that direction because it is not hindered by bottlenecks peculiar to the tertiary education system in this country,” the governor posited.
He said the government would continue to sponsor students into the University as it has proven itself as a viable avenue for obtaining quality education without hurdles in the country.
“Since my assumption of office, I have sponsored 200 qualified students abroad to study critical areas of medical and technology courses where the state is in dire need,” he added.
He said that his administration’s commitment to transform the educational sector in the state informed the provision of the highest allocation to the sector in the 2020 budget.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Abdallah Adamu, said the University based its programmes online where students acquire admission, register, study and even conduct their examination online.
The VC expressed concern over the relative poor enrolment of individuals from the northern part of the country in the University, saying there is the need to reverse the ugly trend.
“As at today, the whole of the three geopolitical zones in the Northern hemisphere of the country have only 17,000 students, compared to the South Western state which, alone, has 37,000 students. Of the over 400 lecturers we interviewed for employment recently, only nine applied from the North,” he lamented.