FEC approves N190.5m for research equipment in UI

Nigerian Coat of Arm

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of N190.5 million for the purchase of a microscope by the University of Ibadan, Oyo State.

Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, disclosed this to State House Correspondents at the end of the weekly cabinet meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.

Nwajiuba said it had become necessary to purchase such an equipment because the only one currently being used by the higher institution had become obsolete.

He also pointed out that it was reasoned that buying the equipment, would save the country lots of money, which until now had been expended on sponsoring researchers to go abroad on account of non-availability of the equipment in the country.

“The Federal Executive Council today, in continuation of the efforts of the federal government to revitalize and reposition the education sector, we passed a resolution granting the request of the University of Ibadan to acquire a new microscope. This is a microscope which is totally directed at enhancing whatever material, looking at nuclear composition of its molecular nature.

“This is in our premier university. Like you all understand that the Department of Anatomy has been at the forefront of this coordinate research in Nigeria for many since its inception in 1948.

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“The first of such equipment was given to us in 1967 by the Japanese government, but it has become obsolete. And the federal government has had the opportunity to review many of the requests from the university authorities, including Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). It was then agreed in the NEEDS assessment report. The replacement of these kinds of equipment falls into the fulcrum of what the NEEDS assessment report asked that we do.”

The Minister further explained that hitherto, PhD students of the institution had to go abroad for their research involving such an equipment and it has now become very expensive to do so.

“So, the request by the University of Ibadan has been approved so that we can stop spending the kind of money we spend sending PhD and further research students abroad on the basis of the lack of this particular equipment. So, the government is looking at this proactively in the sense that it will stem the amount of money we send abroad, and how much time our people spend.

“If University of Ibadan is empowered to do this, and acquires this equipment, it will become the fulcrum for many other research faculties around the country since we will now have this Institute in the country.

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“Everybody will be able to access it, including those from neighbouring West African countries. Our experience while at TETFUND showed that many of the research requests had to do with the non-availability of particular targeted equipment in the country and the federal government in his holistic attempt to address both its economic and social values as well as upgrade our educational targets, then approves this to be able to address all that,” he added.

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