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Metro Nigeria Owns 10 Out of 19 Centres of Excellence in Africa


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Prof. Julius Okojie, the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), on Tuesday, said "10 of the 19 centres of excellence in Africa are in Nigeria"

Okojie, who stated this when the Minister of Education, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, visited the Commission in Abuja, said that such centres underscored the importance of research in Nigerian universities.

He said Nigeria had a lot of researchers who left the shores of the country during the war.

"Out of 19 African Centres of Excellence, 10 are in Nigeria; Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN) is the first professional one in West Africa.

"NUC in partnership with the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVC) to establish a foundation that will ensure that universities collaborate on research. This collaboration is to communicate, collaborate, access and share resources across national and international boundaries, primarily for the purpose of research and learning.

"It has also added capabilities to offer the efficiencies of unified communications and consolidation of digital content,'’ he said

Okojie said NgREN was a World Bank-assisted project to create an elaborate infrastructure backbone to interconnect all research institutions in the country.

He added that it was also to link them with other research and education networks worldwide.

While taking the minister round the NgREN, Okojie said that the project was expected to drive the exorbitant costs of bandwidth and increase capacity of network members to deliver class teaching and research services.

The executive secretary said NgREN, which has 27 universities as foundation members, strives to leverage technology to promote new and innovative ways of teaching and learning.

Responding, Shekarau praised the NgREN project and urged researchers to take advantage of the state of the art facilities at the centre.

The minister commended NUC for its supervisory role in universities, which had continued to improve the quality of education in the system.

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