Written by Godfrey AKON

Subscribe to NgREN or risk sanctions, NUC warns varsities

Universities in the country have been warned to subscribe to the Nigerian Research and Educational Network, NgREN, internet broadband services or risk sanctions from the National Universities Commission, NUC.

Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Julius Okojie, who issued the warning in Abuja at a workshop for Africa Centres of Excellence, ACE, in Nigeria, said the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has already been notified of the decision.

Okojie decried the huge sums spent on broadband services yearly by Nigerian Universities, who have resisted to fully key into the NgREN at a significantly reduce cost.

He said “Nigerian universities are spending an average of N60 million for 155mbps of bandwidths when NgREN offers the same services at less than N26million.

“We have therefore recommended to the Minister that henceforth, every university in Nigeria must participate in the NgREN scheme. We will discontinue funding to any institution that chooses not to cooperate with us as that would amount to wasting scarce resources.”

 Also speaking, the Minister of Education, Adamu, pledged Federal Government’s commitment towards ensuring sustainability of the project beyond its initial life cycle, which terminates in 2018.

The minister also called for a new approach in sourcing for funds for the ten ACEs in the country to ensure sustainability, as the project has been severely challenged by poor funding since the initial $10 million US dollars World Bank fund was used to set it up.

In his remarks, the Minister of Communication, Barr Adebayo Shittu said Nigeria loses N78 billion every year to the activities of cyber criminals, calling on universities to develop talents that can design software programmes to check such activities.

 “Nigeria currently loses about N78 billion yearly to the activities of cyber criminals whose major targets are the financial institutions, and the government Ministries, Department and Agencies, MDAs, as well as their affiliates.

“I would humbly want to use this forum to appeal to all universities present to take this as one of their major challenges, to breed up talents who can design software and programme to check the activities of these cyber hoodlums.”

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