Instability in Nigerian varsities boosting Ghana’s education –Okojie

Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Julius Okojie, on Thursday, lamented the instability in the Nigerian education system, saying the trend accounts for high student patronage by Ghanaian universities.

Okojie, who was reacting to the protracted strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), said instability in academic system has affected Nigerian universities in taking their place of pride in Africa in terms of research and manpower development.

He made the remarks in Abuja, on Thursday while receiving the report of the National Review Committee for proposals submitted by Nigerian universities in order to access the $8 million grants provided by the World Bank for the African Centers of Excellence projects.

He said, “Incessant strike has affected the stability of Nigerian university system.

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“The ongoing strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is unfortunate, especially now that proposals for ACE projects are being reviewed when the universities are under lock and keys.

“I must say that it is so unfortunate that this is happening at a time doors of the universities are shut and our colleagues who know what the benefit is are not responsive.

“Some money is involved, $8 if we are able to get those centers it would help us.

“Just like the Step-B project. Federal University of Technology, Akure got a project of $7million. For an institution that is a big leverage.

“There are some money out there begging for people to apply, yet we keep saying there is no fund for university.

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“I hope that the African Union will take a cue from this and initiate a programme to support some of these projects when the fund from the World Bank is finally over”, he said

The NUC scribe explained that the objective of the ACE project is to promote general specialisation among participating universities within areas that address particular regional development challenges and strengthen the capacities of the universities to deliver high quality training and applied research.

“The project consists of two components: the first is to build capacity in competitively selected institutions to produce in-demand, high skilled labour and applied research.

“The second component will facilitate the regional impacts and benefits of the ACE through talent and labour mobility and higher education services.

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