The Zamfara State Governor, Bello has directed the construction of a N400 million National Open University Study Centre in Gusau, just as he pledged to sponsor an initial 200 students into the university.
The governor gave this directive when he paid a working visit to the headquarters of the university in Abuja on Thursday.
Governor Matawalle said his decision to take the step is borne out of his desire to fast track the development of education in the state.
He said 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,” Mr Matawalle observed.
He said the government will 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,” Mr Matawalle said.
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 the university, Abdallah Adamu, who received the governor in his office, said the university based its programmes online where students acquire admission, register, study and even conduct their examination online.
“Your Excellency, as at today, we have completed our first semester examination despite lockdown arising from the pandemic of covid-19 because the bulk of our business is conducted online,” Mr Abdallah said .
He said the northern part of the country is extremely lagging behind regarding its participation in the opportunity provided by the university for effective, quality, cheap and hitch-free education.
“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.
“The Northern governors need to work hard to ensure that their indigenes participate in this national opportunity,” Mr Abdallah advised.
He commended Mr Matawalle for being the only governor who personally visited the university.