NUC, NCC partner to upgrade university research network

Temitope Mustapha,Abuja.

The Nigerian Communications Commission says it will work with the National Universities Commission to improve facilities of the Nigeria Research and Educational Network, NgREN.

NgREN is a World Bank-assisted project that provides infrastructural backbone that interconnects all research and education institutions in the country and links them with their counterparts around the world.

This will ensure a seamless flow of knowledge between them.

Addressing newsmen after the inspection of NgREN facilities at the NUC headquarters in Abuja, the Vice Chairman of NCC, Professor Umar Dambatta said a committee would be set up by the two commissions to clearly identify key challenges hindering the development of the Network and possible areas of intervention.

Professor Dambatta said “being a network architect, NgREN facilitates collaboration between Nigerian universities on research and other educational pursuits. That is why the NCC has come in to assess the facilities on ground and appreciate the challenges while also intervening.

I am impressed with what I saw. I have listened to the challenges and I have pledged my commitment to the NCC in addressing some of these challenges.”

He added that the NCC and the National Universities Commission had both agreed to constitute a technical committee that will study the requests needed by the Universities Commission to address the challenges adequately.

Speaking on the importance of the partnership, the Executive Commission of National Universities Commission, Professor Julius Okojie, said the NgREN facilities cannot be used for more complex research except when a bigger leverage is made available.

Okojie added that when the NgREN facility is improved, the ranking of Nigerian universities will also improve as most higher institutions in the country will be more visible on the internet.

He however, acknowledged that there is limit to the intervention the Communications Commission can offer.

“NCC also has a limit to which they can assist us following the fact that every institution has its own mandate and because we all are Federal government agencies, any level their assistance gets to, then the Federal government will solve the remaining problems.”

The Nigerian Research and Education Network was launched in 2014. NgREN is a collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Education, World Bank and the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology.