BY DAYO ADESULU
For deploying a whooping sum of N1.42 billion to 11 universities in Nigeria for the purpose of bringing their Geoscience departments to world standard, the Univerisity Assistance Programme, bankrolled by Mobil Producing Nigeria and its co-sponsors, has been commended by stakeholders.
According to Dr Mary Olowookere, Head of Geoscience department, Federal University of Technology, Akure, the programme has brought a great improvement to the teaching and learning of Geosciences, which empowers students graduating from Nigerian universities to be competitive in a world that has become a global village.
Olowookere also gives kudos to the training programme organized for lecturers of benefiting universities to ensure an effective use of the facilities in the constructed mini- Geoscience workrooms, explaining that the training has improved the competence of the lecturers which will reflect on the quality of their students, especially with the aid of the modern equipment provided by the sponsors.
A sum of about N132m has been spent on the programme in each of the benefitting universities for the construction of mini- Geosciences workroom equipped with four interpretation duck stations, discussion table with six revolving chairs, a manager’s desk and writing board. For safety, the workroom is protected with security doors and burglary proof windows as well as air conditioners.
Each of the universities also get the following hardwares: four sun blade unix machines, DLT tape drive, 300m 16 ports switch, Hp design jet plotter, Dell 19’ flat screen, high end PC and APC UPS (1.5 Kva). These hardwares are supported by software including four Geoframe Runtime licences, two IESX licences with synthetics, two Geology office licences and solaris operating systems.
A 30 KVA generator is also provided to each of the universities to ensure an effective utilization of the equipment. While the software is donated by Schlumberger, CBC Computer provides installation and basic maintenance support for a limited period.
In the first phase of the UAP project, which was completed in 2007, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-If; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Nmandi Azikiwe University, Akwa benefited from the University Assistance Programme.
And in the second phase completed in 2010 the Geoscience departments of the University of Benin, University of Ilorin, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, University of Calabar and Delta State University, Abraka got the much-needed assistance.
The latest benefiting institutions in the third phase of the project are the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Fedearl University of Technology, Minna and the University of Maiduguri.
At the commencement of the third phase, which was flagged off in Lagos recently by a week-long training of three lecturers from each of the universities, the General Manager (Operations Technical Geosciences), Mobil Producing Nigeria Mrs Ufuoma Eweherido, said the effort at supporting and improving the learning and quality of Geosciences students in Nigeria by Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria