Written by Godfrey AKON

EU to fund NgREN with 10 million Euros

The European Union, EU, is to inject 10 million Euros into the second phase of the Nigerian Research and Educational Network, NgREN, project, which is expected to interconnect about 81 public universities to the internet broadband.

Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, NUC, Prof. Julius Okojie disclosed this in Abuja while inaugurating a new Board for the NgREN project.

Okojie, who noted that the 2nd and 3rd phases of the project would gulp N34 billion stressed the importance of the project to the Nigerian university system as it would improve the teaching and learning environment through video conferencing, teleconferencing and sharing of resources.

He however noted that the Federal Government is required to pay a counterpart fund of US2.5 million dollars before the 10 million Euros can be accessed from the European Union.

“The EU and other development partners are thinking of buying into it. So far the government is ready to pay the counterpart fund, 10 million Euro would be made available for NgREN and Nigeria’s government will pay US2.5 million dollars.

I am very sure when I get this ready to the minister and to Mr President, that will be done effectively so that NgREN can be up and running again,” he said.

Okojie, who is also the chairman of the new NgREN Board, said membership of the board was drawn from both public and private universities.

The members include: Vice Chancellors of Bayero University, Kano, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Gombe State University, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Covenant University, Otta and Nigerian Turkish Nile University, Abuja, among others.

It would be recalled that the Nigerian Research and Educational Network was set setup with an initial 10 million US dollars grant from the World Bank, but since that initial support, funding has become a challenge to the management of the platform.

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