By Ambrose Bernard Gowong
In a move to start exporting tertiary education to other west African countries, the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) will establish study centres across the west African sub-region starting with Niger Republic.
Vice-Chancellor NOUN Prof. Abdalla Adamu stated this at the on-going 5th Annual Conference of the Association of West African Universities (AWAU) taking place in Niamey, Niger Republic.
Adamu says considering the increasing need of quality university education and the limitations of the conventional universities in terms of carrying capacity among other infrastructure deficiency there is the need for NOUN the biggest university in the entire west Africa to take the lead by bridging the gab through open and distance learning.
 Prof. Abdalla Adamu added “We will start with Niger Republic first, then Ouagadougou, Mali, Senegal and the entire west Africa. Considering the most sort after courses by Nigeriens in most Nigeria Universities, NOUN intend to start running programmes on B.A Education, B.A Hausa, B.A Islamic and Arabic studies, B.A English and B.Sc Mass Communications”.
Prof. Adamu added that citing such study centres across the west African coast will bring relief to students around the region who do travel several kilometers to Nigeria in search of education as well as contribute towards improving socioeconomic activities of these countries. 
“Even though there is the strong desire to plant these centres by us, the host country must first write formally to us requesting for a centre”.
To this end the Vice-Chancellor NOUN today paid a curtesy call to the Minister Higher Education, Niger Republic and the Governor of Niamey for a consultation with education stakeholders in that country about the possibilities of establishing a study Centre. 
Represented by Abarchi Magalma, Director Higher Education cabinet office (Permanent Secretary) Niamey, Niger the minister says government and people of Niger will immediately commence paper work in this regard.
Earlier, at the office of the Governor Niamey, the Governor Seydou Zataou Aly, welcomed and thanked the VC and his team for the visit and described the intention as laudable, a development the government and people of Niger will embrace. 
The Vice-Chancellor also consulted with a renowned professor, and a special Adviser on Education to the president of Niger Republic Monsieur Sanoussi Tambary Jackou to intimate him of the development who assured the VC of no stone will be left unturned towards the realization of the project.
Sanoussi Tambary Jackou was a member, memorandum of understanding drafting committee between Nigeria-Niger in 1971. He was also the General Secretary Nigeria-Niger joint commission, representing Niger, a former minister of Higher Education in Niger Republic and a highly respectable statesman in Niger.
Adamu also was on Radio Alternative a popular local radio station in Niamey to raise awareness about open and distance learning and it’s potentials.


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