The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, was installed as the new Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) during the institution’s 13th Convocation and Investiture Ceremony held in Abuja on Saturday.

The Benin monarch was decorated by the Visitor of the institution, President Bola Tinubu, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Dr. Tanko Sununu. A total of 22,175 graduates also received their degrees and merit awards at the event.

In his address, President Tinubu urged the new Chancellor to work towards improving the fortunes of the 42-year-old university and achieving its core mandate of providing accessible education.

Oba Ewuare II was also conferred with an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration by NOUN. In his acceptance speech, the monarch called on the Federal Government to consider robust funding for the university and exercise caution in establishing new universities with dual roles to ensure standards are upheld.

The new Chancellor promised to carry out his responsibilities diligently and appealed to the government to include NOUN graduates in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme by amending the institution’s establishing act.

Commending the university’s management for its commitment to service, Oba Ewuare II expressed his gratitude for the inspiration that led to the graduation of 22,175 students with various degrees and merit awards.

Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Olufemi Peters, described the convocation as a milestone for the graduands, heralding a new era for those seeking knowledge regardless of their academic background.

In his address, President Tinubu called for cutting-edge multidisciplinary research that would benefit Nigerian citizens and the nation. He assured that the Federal Government would continue to promote distance learning and widen access by involving the private sector to promote quality and affordability in tertiary education.