17 universities get $70m research grant


About 17 Nigerian universities have been approved to receive the sum of $70m to conduct researches on infectious diseases, tropical diseases and reproductive health under the World Bank’s Africa Centres of Excellence project.



The researches, which are to begin April 2019 under the ACE Development Impact Project, would address the regional development challenges in West and Central Africa.



This was disclosed in a statement issued by the National Universities Commission and signed by the Director of Press and Public Relations, Ibrahim Yakasai.



The NUC listed Ahmadu Bello University, Redeemers’ University, Bayero University, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Benin, University of Port Harcourt, University of Lagos, Lagos State University, University of Nigeria, and the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, as some of the World Bank-funded tertiary institutions in the country.



NUC said, “West and Central African countries, with support from the World Bank, unveiled the regional Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence in 2014.



The project is focused on scaling up postgraduate education and applied researches that are fundamental to the economic growth of the region.



The supported universities should meet the global standards for quality of education, recruit students across the region and collaborate with other African Universities.”



Also, the NUC ACE Director, Dr Joshua Atah, said the expected results of the projects include developments impact, increase in the amount of externally generated revenue, and commercialisation of research results.



Atah said, “The project will see to the increase in the number and strength of sector partnerships that lead to production and hiring of high-performing graduates, increase in the volumes of internally generated revenue, improvement in the quality of university programmes and increase in the enrolment of students, particularly females.



“The projects will address specific regional development challenges following the priority fields; science, technology, engineering and mathematics; health sciences, agriculture, environment and applied social sciences.”



It was learnt that 44 higher institutions were selected from Nigeria, Benin Republic, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Senegal, Ghana, Guinea, Togo and the Gambia, for the World Bank’s African Centres of Excellence projects.



While the 17 Nigerian universities secured the World Bank funds, Ghana followed with eight universities, Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal had four institutions each, while Burkina Faso and Togo had three each.
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