Graduates of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) will get their certificates for the first time during the institution's convocation scheduled for January, 2013.
The Director of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (NSCDC) Study Centre of NOUN, Professor Iliya Dongs made this known during the first matriculation ceremony in the centre.
"The first convocation will take place on 18th and 19th of January next year.
"On the 18th and 19th of January (next year), all the students that have graduated from NOUN would get their certificates on that date for the first time."
Though, the Professor couldn't ascertain the number of students that will be awarded certificates, he said they should be in thousands.
"We have plenty number of students (graduating) that I can not categorically state now because it is in thousands."
NOUN was resuscitated on the 12th April in 2001 after being suspended after a year in 1984 and none of the graduates had been awarded certificates since then.
Students not graduating
Prof. Dong debunked the generally held insinuation that the Institution wasn't working.
"When people are saying students are not graduating...yes, you can't graduate if you don't pass exams."
He added that most students don't take studies seriously hence, the. extension in their study period.
Prof. Dong pointed out that NOUN was in partnership with some developed countries in order to improve capacity.
He added that NOUN and conventional universities were on per, stressing that the only difference between the duo was that NOUN alone had the status to run the distance learning programme.
A total number of 160 students were matriculated at the occasion which held at the NSCDC academy in Sauka, Abuja.
The students were admitted for programmes in the undergraduate and graduates categories while most of them are staff of the country's Paramilitary agencies.
The Vice-Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Vincent Tenebe encouraged the students to take their study seriously in order to graduate on schedule and affect the country positively.
The Vice-Chancellor who was represented by the Director of the Centre, Prof. Iliya Dung said 30 of the 31 courses of the Institution had been accredited.
Also, the Commandant-General of the NSCDC, Dr. Ade Abolurin who was represented by Assistant Commandant-General Isimi Abosede enjoined the matriculated students to utilise the opportunity given to them to excel in life.