By Dayo Adesulu
The World Bank has disclosed that it expended $70 million projects in 10 Nigerian universities to boost Science and Technology studies and make them of global standard.
The 10 benefiting universities under African Centre for Excellence, ACE, include: Redeemers University, Mowe; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Jos, Jos; University of Benin, Benin, and African University of Science and Technology, Abuja. Others are, University of Port-Harcourt, Port Harcourt; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Bayero University, Kano; Benue State University, Makurdi and Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
World Bank said it took more interest in funding several areas of Redeemers University Sciences, such as infectious diseases due to the role it played during the Ebola crisis in 2014, adding, ‘’Redeemers University was the testing site for the 2014 Ebola crisis in Nigeria.
‘’They were able to test and turn around the results within six hours. Very critical scientific information that confirmed there was Ebola that allowed the government to very quickly respond and contain the virus,’’ it said.
Speaking at the opening of three-day workshop held, yesterday, in Lagos for the 22 ACE member universities in Africa, World Bank Lead Economist, Global Practice Education, Andreas Blom said: ‘’The World Bank is investing $165 million in ACE Africa and the 10 universities in Nigeria will gulp $70m for this project.’’
According to him, Nigeria is the biggest country in the region and has a large number of centres of excellence.
He urged the Nigerian government to raise the quality of its universities, adding that a lot of Nigerians were going outside the country, spending a lot of money on quality education.
He said: ‘’All these talents can remain in Nigeria to educate Nigerians. But for that to happen, we need better universities. We need very good teachers, curriculum and laboratories, so that Nigeria talents stay in Nigeria and work for Nigeria developmental problems.
‘’For Nigeria, we are funding several areas of science, such as infectious diseases, in particular the centres of excellence around. Genomic of infectious diseases at Redeemer University, that was the testing site for the Ebola crisis in Nigeria. They were able to test and turn around the results within six hours. Very critical scientific information that confirmed there was Ebola that allowed the government to very quickly responded and contained the virus,’’ he added.