President Goodluck Jonathan (July 8, 2014) in Abuja inaugurated Nigeria’s first Research and Education Network, NgREN.
President Jonathan disclosed that NgREN is a World Bank-assisted project that will create an effective infrastructural backbone to interconnect all research and education institutions in the country and link them with other Research and Education Networks worldwide.
Represented by Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, he emphasised that the project is expected to drive down the exorbitant costs of bandwidth while at the same time increasing the capacity of the network to deliver world class teaching and research services.
He stressed that NgREN was aimed at ensuring a seamless knowledge flow between Nigerian educational institutions and their counterparts around the world.
NgREN is collaboration between the Ministry of Education, The World Bank and Ministry of Communication Technology.
Minister of Communication Technology, Dr Omobola Johnson in her remarks described the commissioning of NgREN as a ‘’significant milestone’’, adding that 27 Federal Universities have been connected to NgREN through the World Bank STEP B fund.
Present at the event were members of the National Assembly, Federal Executive Council, Board members and CEOs of Parastatals as well as extra ministerial departments, members of the diplomatic corps, captains of industry, Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities and other stakeholders in the ICT and education sectors.
The programme is aimed at providing fast Internet to tertiary institutions to facilitate learning, teaching, research and connectivity to the global academic world.
Phase I, a World Bank sponsored project that provides connectivity to 27 Federal Universities, was completed in June 2013.
Phase II will connect 28 Off-Campus sites of the Universities covered in the first phase and 12 University Teaching Hospitals commenced in 2013. This has been funded by the USPF, while Phase III will connect other tertiary institutions and state universities upon completion of the second phase.
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