The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) is an Open Distance Learning (ODL) Institution mandated to provide functional, accessible and affordable education to the door steps of Nigerians who are seeking for knowledge. Globalization and technological advancement have made the pursuit of knowledge much easier; and while NOUN’s main mandate is on ODL, its reach and impact have spread all over Nigeria to the extent that its relevance in other complimentary endeavours in human development has necessitated the introduction of research Centres that would support its overall objectives.
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides that the well-being of its people is the essence of government. Therefore, Good Governance and Development are key issues that are critical to Nigeria; especially in its quest to achieve the highest standards of living through the practice of democracy, promotion of the rule of law and the protection of fundamental rights of its citizens. It is on the basis of this that the NOUN established this Centre.
The Olusegun Obasanjo Centre For African Studies (OOCAS) was established in 2016; and it is located within the National Open University main Campus, Jabi, Abuja, Nigeria.
The Centre was named after Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to immortalize him in recognition of his exemplary leadership in Nigeria and Africa; as well as his immense contributions to international peace and development.
The Centre is an independent non-profit organization involved in development research with a view to promoting and deepening good governance in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. It seeks to examine critical policy issues, including democratization and good governance, rule of law and anti-corruption, peace and conflict resolution, as well as human rights and ethical values; and to contribute to the national debate on those issues with a view to achieving sustainable development.
While the Centre is funded by the NOUN, the issue of development is so vast that could overwhelm the capacity of any entity that chooses to go it alone. Therefore, the Centre is seeking for meaningful and beneficial partnership with all development/donor agencies, civil society organizations and private individuals who wish to collaborate and support the Centre to achieve its objectives.
Our approach is based on a comprehensive, integrated, inclusive, non-partisan and impact oriented research and advocacy. Our strategic niche is propelled by the tenor and comparative advantage of an ODL institution – to bring education, ethical values and good governance to the door steps of Nigerians; and to advance development.
The objectives of the Centre include the following:
- To undertake scientific research and studies on any aspects of governance, democracy, socio-economic development and political stability of Nigeria.
- To raise awareness on the deleterious effects and debilitating impact of the various forms and types of practices that undermine the development of Nigeria and tot support government’s initiatives in combating them and promoting good governance.
- Organize lectures, workshops, seminars and focused group discussions with various stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, prosecutory and judicial authorities, NGOS and the private sector to promote good governance, rule of law and democracy in Nigeria.
- Support the National Anti-Corruption and other good governance Agenda of the government by contributing to legislative enactments, impact assessment and policy advisory services.
- Liaise and collaborate with other institutions of government, universities and research institutes, development partners, NGOs and the civil society in carrying out its mandate and objectives.
- Introduce and manage specialized study programmes within the framework of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in support of the overall mandate and objectives of the NOUN.
- Under take any meaningful initiative, subject to approval of the relevant authorities that would promote the quality of academic learning and research, as well as the objectives of the NOUN.
The mission of the Centre is:
“To contribute to the promotion of good governance and development through empirical research and studies”.
The Vision of the Centre shall be:
“To promote a better and greater Nigeria through Governance and“
The OOCAS shall function as a Centre of excellence within the NOUN to provide backstopping support to all NOUN’s programmes (as may be required). Specifically, the functions of the Centre shall include:
- To create forum for open discussion within the university on issues pertaining to ethics, integrity and accountability in service delivery of NOUN’s products.
- Review standards and practices within the university and advise management on good practices and good governance.
- Serve as a Centre for promoting best practice in academics, especially in the area of governance and development studies.
The OOCAS is one of the Directorates of NOUN. In the course of time, a Board of Trustees will be established to oversee the Centre. The Board shall determine all policy issues and shall report to the Governing Council of NOUN through the Vice Chancellor.
The Centre shall be headed by a Director who shall be appointed by the Vice chancellor. The tenure of the Director shall be four years renewable once, subject to satisfactory performance. Mean time, an organogram detailing the staff composition and disposition is being developed.
The core values of the OOCAS are Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity, Transparency and Accountability.