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FG dismisses low ranking of varsities




NOTWITHSTANDING their low ranking, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie yesterday said the standard of Nigerian universities was high.

Okojie, who said this at the opening of a two-day workshop on African Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project Post-Effectiveness in Abuja, added that the problem with Nigerian universities was low Internet presence.

According to Okojie, the Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN) is solving the problem of Internet connectivity in Nigerian universities, saying it will improve global presence of Nigerian universities.

Meanwhile, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Muhammad Sani Sidi has said considering the frequency, magnitude and the extent of damage and losses caused by disasters, it has become paramount to develop strategies with implementable actions to reduce the risk of disaster worldwide.”

Sani-Sidi added the framework present the country with another unique opportunity to commit more efforts towards disaster risk reduction and resilience building, adding “we must recognize that one driving force in achieving the goals in this framework is strong commitment towards political leadership and will.”

Sani-Sidi further explained that the Sandai Framework was a successor to Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA) (2005-2015) which came to an end this year. The document he maintained guided the implementation of Disaster Risk Reduction activities in Nigeria by reducing the country’s vulnerability and improving resilience.

He highlighted some of the achievements of the Hyogo framework of action in Nigeria to include the establishment of National Platform for disaster management policies and programmes, the development of DRR and Climate Change Curriculum for Primary and Secondary levels of education and the mainstreaming of Disaster Risk Reduction into professional Institutions like the Police Training College, Arm Forces Command and College, Nigeria Institute for Policy and Strategic Study, the In-Service Trainings for Civil Servants among others.

Okojie said “what has happened in NgREN is a big boom because of Internet connectivity to 27 universities; you can almost share resources, knowledge and findings.

The people that do the ranking do not really visit universities; they go to the Internet and find out what you are doing. Whatever research we are doing should be sent to the Internet. Money is going into the system for research. I am not disturbed; my concern is whether Nigerian universities are meeting local and national needs; whether we are number one or not does not matter.”

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