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Hosting 10 ACEs boosts image of Nigeria’s higher education, says Adamu

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NUC directs varsities to subscribe to NgREN broadband

AdamuMinister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, says Nigeria playing host to 10 out of the 22 African Centres of Excellence spread across West and Central Africa has boosted the image of the country’s higher education.

Adamu, who made the disclosure at the opening ceremony of the capacity enhancement and sustainability workshop for the ACEs explained that Nigerian universities now look and sound more competitive in the international community.

“These 10 African Centres of Excellence in the country have boosted the image of Nigeria’s higher education, and they are making our universities look and sound even more competitive,” he stated.

He stressed that with 10 centres domiciled in the country, it was important that no efforts should be spared in ensuring that they all succeed because “if our ACEs fail, the entire ACE project would crumble.”

While adding that neither the country nor Africa can afford to fail, the minister added that, “To be able to capture and house 10 out of 22 ACEs in the West and Central African regions is no mean feat; but it is a feat that comes with a responsibility, because, as they saying goes, ‘to whom much is given, much is expected.’

Adamu continued: “The Federal Government is proud of their (10 ACEs) achievements; and would like to commend all the centres and their officers, the vice chancellors and other principal officers of the universities as well as the National Universities Commission (NUC) for all the hard work and commitment they have put in.

He stated that the Federal Government would continue to provide a‎ conducive environment and a level playing ground for all Nigerian universities to develop to their full potentials.

On his part, Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Julius Okojie, mandated all universities in the country to subscribe to the broadband connectivity platform, offered by the Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN).

He said this became imperative owing to the rising bills incurred on Internet broadband services by universities.

While emphasising the need to block financial leakages, owing to dwindling price of oil in the international market, Okojie said informed that the average Nigerian university spends about N60million for 155mbps of bandwidth when NgREN offers same service at less than N26million.

So, “We have recommended that henceforth, every university in Nigeria must participate in the NgREN scheme. 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.”

“For instance, Nigerian universities spend an average of N60million for 155mbps of bandwidth when the NgREN offers the same service at less than N26million,” he stated.


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