Nigerians spend $2bn yearly on studies abroad

Temitope Mustapha,Abuja

Nigerians currently spend about $2bn yearly on education abroad.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Binta Masi said this in Abuja at an event on the Nigerian Research and Education Network,NgREN.

Senator Masi who frowned at Nigerians travelling to other African countries to get educated said the country was getting it right on the initiative of the research and education network.

She said that the NgREN initiative will be exposed to the members of the National Assembly , to fully engage all stakeholders and ensure its adequate funding.

“Following the attribute of cost effectiveness of the initiative I would say that Nigeria is getting it right on NgREN. Nigeria is getting closer to a major breakthrough in the education sector.  National Assembly is ready to work with all stakeholders on facilitating enhancement of NgREN services.

The law establishing Tetfund is not what can be amended easily. The bill for the amendment has to be an executive bill sponsored by the executive arm of government or any stakeholders before the NASS can deliberate on it but as far as we are concerned we are ready to support innovative ideas that will promote and revive the lost glory of the Nigerian education system”

The Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, Professor Julius Okojie said that the network helps in cutting costs.

“It helps to avoid unnecessary travels and also helps cut cost of capacity building as teaching can be delivered to several people at the same time.”

He added that NgREN would address ranking challenges facing Nigerian universities as the platform would enhance their visibility.

The NgREN coordinator, Dr Joshua Attah said due to a lack of adequate funding ,the National Universities Commission had advised universities to join NgREN since the Federal government had provided the platform.

The Secretary General of the Committee of Vice Chancellors, Professor Micheal Faborode said including more universities to existing ones on the platform was a milestone for the country  as NgREN was critical to the development of the Nigerian university system.

Professor Faborode called on the National Assembly to repeal laws that do not enable Tetfund to enhance the network’s service delivery.

The Nigerian Research and Education Network NgREN was formally commissioned on the 8th of July 2014 and was initially providing services to 27 Federal universities.

It is the first to become operational in West Africa.

With Federal University Lafia, 80 public universities and 61 private universities now exist on the research network.

Lafia is among the nine Federal universities to get connected.

UO