The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) says its printing press, which is almost ready, will be commissioned in January 2019.
NOUN’s Director of Media and Publicity, Malam Ibrahim Sheme, in a statement in Abuja, said the university had acquired state of the art machines capable of handling the university’s printing needs.
He said it was an innovative move by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, targeted at cutting the high cost of outsourcing the production of students’ study materials and maximising internal efficiency.
Sheme revealed that NOUN had registered a commercial entity with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) so that it could handle other customers’ printing jobs.
He quoted the vice-chancellor as saying that one of the reasons the institution acquired the printing press was because commercial printer took advantage of NOUN.
“First, many commercial printers force us to print more copies of study materials than we need, all in the name of -the more, the cheaper.
“This is more so for courses with few students; yet we always end up with thousands of course materials as surplus, and eventually have to dispose of them at a loss.
“With our own press, we can print on demand for the exact number of students we have since our main focus is to serve the students and not to make exploitative profits that the outsourced commercial printers do.
“Secondly, we discovered that many Study Centres complain of lack of study materials, even though these are uploaded as PDF files on our website. But we do understand that many people would prefer to have the printed versions as they may not have access to internet at all times.’’
The vice-chancellor said further that the cumbersome process of outsourcing the printing of the study materials meant that students would have to wait for weeks or even months before the materials get to them.
“With the establishment of our own press, we have now eliminated the need for contracting the printing of any type of printed material – whether study materials, calendars, banners, posters, fliers, journals, magazines, academic books, or monographs.”
The vice chancellor added thirdly, that the institution could henceforth control the quality of the output – particularly the layout, design and graphics, thus enriching the content of the materials.
Adamu said that the press and the course developers and lecturers were all in the same place, NOUN Abuja headquarters.
“So it is easy to effect corrections, thus saving time, which is impossible with outsourced printers who print with many errors since they are not academics and therefore have no intellectual understanding of what they are printing.”
The vice-chancellor stated that the NOUN Press could compete with any printing press in the country, considering the vast array of modern printing machines it has acquired.
“We are happy, therefore, to state that we have completely stopped giving out contract for any type of printing in the National Open University of Nigeria,” he said.