Published On: Mon, Feb 10th, 2014

World Bank grants Nigeria $80m for universities

The World Bank has approved 80 million dollars grant for Nigeria to fund its 10 Centres of Excellence in universities.

The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, announced the approval in Abuja on Monday at a news  conference on the meeting of World Bank with African Centres of Excellence (ACE).

Okojie also announced that Nigeria won 10 slots out of the 18 approved proposals for the establishment of ACEs.

He said the World Bank-funded ACE project was introduced to build capacity in competitively selected institutions to produce in-demand highly skilled labour and applied research.

He said it was also to facilitate rapid development within the African sub-region through the strengthening of ACEs by collaborations and partnership in sharing of talents, skilled labour and higher education services.

“Following the call for proposals on July 15, 2013, the NUC put in place a process to ensure that Nigerian universities win most of the ACEs.

“This process included workshops, mock evaluations, proposal development support, etc,” he said.

The executive secretary said seven Nigerian universities were selected from 15 institutions that would benefit from the ACE grant.

The universities include Redeemers University, Mowe, Ogun, African University of Science and Technology, Abuja, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Others are; University of Jos, University of Benin; and University of Port Harcourt.

He said the universities were selected based on their proposals to address specific issues in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, health sciences; and agricultural sciences.

Okojie said because of the excellent proposals from Nigeria, three more universities, namely,  Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife,  Bayero University, Kano and Benue State University, Makurdi, were later approved bringing the total to 10 out of 18 ACEs in Africa.

“In spite of the challenges facing the Nigerian education sector, our universities are doing well.

“This competition has indicated the potential of our universities to confront the challenges in their immediate environment and thereby contribute to the overall growth of the nation and the continent.

“The fact that we won 10 ACEs out of 18 ACEs indicates that with little more effort, our universities can be ranked amongst the best in the world,” he said.

Speaking, the Lead Economist, Africa Education in the World Bank, Mr Andreas Blom, said Nigeria’s win of 10 slots was a “clear demonstration of the potential capacity and talents the country possessed.

Blom noted that there were also many potential in Africa’s economy and the World Bank would continue to build African capacity to solve Africa’s problems.

Displaying 10 Comments
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  1. Okanite says:

    So with all these Universities mentioned here,there is no university mentioned from the South-east to benefit from this grants, what has Igbos done for Christ sake???????.

    • Agwaye says:

      The selections were made based on merit! A call for presentations on specialized projects by all universities in Africa were made from the World Bank and respondents were thoroughly accessed , and awards were made based on the quality of presentations. This is not about quota system or geopolitical colouration.

    • Morenikeji Michael Olanrewaju says:

      tribalism and ethnicity been displayed at international level.Haba Nigerians!

  2. Agwaye says:

    Congratulations Redeemers University. Imagine that a private university , RUN , was one of these prestigious awardees for an African Center Of Excellence! Great.

  3. mau mau says:

    My brother Okanite, this issue is not a political issue, it is purely acedamics. You can see that those proposals were examined by external body in World Bank. It simply means tha our people in the South-East Universities did not write a winning proposals to catch the attention of donors. $80m is not a small money. South East is loosing out. Let our acedemicians leave politics and focus their attentions in acedemics so that next time we will not miss. God bless South East Universities.

  4. Prince says:

    This is issue of international development and partnership through research, and not political as insinuated by some people. If this fund is judiciously maximized by the participating institutions representing the country, I believe such an offer will not be far from reach in the near future.

  5. Gotodok Lengshak says:

    Its not an issue of politicking or regional stride. We the masses must hold leaders responsible in all sphers. Good to know of the grants as well as many nigerian universities benefitting. However, we must ensure that the funds are judiciously used to further improve the decaying education sector. God Bless Nigeria.

  6. Benjamin Ahile says:

    Benue state university congrats,brain has spoken here,no tribalism,sectionalism etc.U’ve made u proud among state universities n d Benue Nation.

  7. Bishop says:

    Congrat to Benue State University and to our enviable great academician and a goal-getter’ VC(Prof, Charity) that we have.Am proud to be a student here, we hope for more,as we are already seeing more strutures spring up.

  8. Saratu says:

    Congratulations dear Redeemers University, your best is yet to come . i am proud to be your protege.

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