The Federal Government of Nigeria says it will provide a conducive learning environment and a level playing ground for all Nigerian tertiary institutions.
It believes that the move will develop and produce graduates that can compete with their counterparts across the world.
Speaking at a Capacity and Sustainability Training Forum for Heads of African Centres of Excellence in Abuja on Monday, the Minister of Education, Mr Adamu Adamu, pledged the government’s support for the 10 African Centres of Excellence in Nigeria to enable them attain world class standard.
Mr Adamu appealed to the private sector to team up with the Federal Government to turn around the fortunes of Nigerian universities particularly in the area of research.
The World Bank representative and Task Team Leader of African Centres of Excellence for Nigerian universities, Andreas Blom, urged officials of the centres to look inward for the sustainability of the project while the Secretary General of the Committee of Vice Chancellors, Professor Michael Faborode, urged Nigerian universities to grow beyond depending on the World Bank for funding support.
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Professor Julius Okojie, expressed confidence about the capacity of the project to address Africa’s developmental challenges.
The objective of the ace initiative is to promote regional specialisation among participating universities within areas that address particular regional and national development challenges.
On his part, the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, lamented the loss of about 78 billion Naira yearly to the activities of cyber criminals who offer online study opportunities to Nigerians.
The Centres of Excellence in Nigeria are: the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Bayero University, Kano, Benue State University, Markurdi, Redeemers University, Ede and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Others are: University of Benin, University of Jos, University of Port Harcourt, University of Ibadan and African University of Science and Technology.