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FG Pledges Support For 10 World Bank Centers In Nigeria

Charity Simon, Abuja
The Federal Government has assured of commitment to sustain the 10 World bank funded African Centers of Excellence (ACE) project in Nigeria beyond 2018.
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, gave the indication yesterday at the Capacity Enhancement and Sustainability Workshop for the Africa Centres of Excellence in Nigerian Universities, in Abuja
He however tasked the benefiting institutions to look inwards for funds to compliment effort of government in ensuring the set out goals and objectives for the project are realised.
“As you are already, no doubt, aware, the ACE project is a regional higher education project for West and Central Africa with the support from the World Bank, and it ends in 2018.
Already about two years of its life cycle have elapsed and the question now is, how to sustain it. Needless to add, the federal government, through the ministry of education will continue to work hard to ensure the sustainability of the project beyond this initial life cycle. However, the ministry cannot do it alone, and I think that is why we are all here to find a way out.
The minister further tasked the centres to take advantage of the project to reposition university education in Nigeria especially in the area of research.
“I would like to remind the centres of the enormous responsibilities placed on their shoulders, we now look forward to them to proffer solutions to Nigerian’s and by extension, Africa’s challenges” he said.
In his remarks, the Minister of communications technology, Adebayo Shitu revealed that Nigeria loses over N78b annually to activities of cyber criminals.
He said though government is working on measures to check the trend, Nigerian universities should take it as a major challenge to breed talents who can design software and program that will address such act.
Adebayo who used the opportunity to make case for ICT driven research in the nations ivory towels said the African centres of excellence in the ten Nigerian universities presents opportunity to produce qualified manpower for both the government and the private sector.
While emphasizing the need to block financial leakages, owing to dwindling prices of oil at the international market The Executives Secretary National Universities Commission, Prof.Julius Okojie said on average Nigerian universities spend N60million for 155mbps of bandwidth when NgREN offers same service at less than N26million. “We have recommended that henceforth, every university in Nigeria must participate in the NgREN scheme.
Okojie, who announced the directive, said it became imperative owing to high wage bill incurred on internet broadband by universities.
“Many universities keep spending huge sums of money on broadband connectivity, electronic journals subscription, repositories and other services yearly but have resisted to fully key into the consortium based approach like NgREN which helps to reduce cost significantly” he stated.

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