The 37th virtual federal executive council, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, approved N190 million for the purchase of a microscope for the University of Ibadan (UI).
Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, minister of state for education, said the council passed a resolution to approve the sum as a part of the federal government’s efforts to revitalise and repurpose the education sector.
“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 coordinated research in Nigeria for many years since its inception in 1948,” the minister said.
“The first of such equipment was given to us in 1967 by the Japanese government, but it has become obsolete.
“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 on in the NEEDS assessment report.”
Nwajiuba said the purchase will end the trend of sending research students abroad due to the lack of equipment.
According to the minister, the federal government will provide N190 million while UI will complete the sum with N552,000 from its internationally generated revenue (IGR) towards purchasing the equipment — which is worth N190,552,000 — within 16 weeks from now.
“FG is looking at this proactively in the sense that it will stem the amount of money we send abroad,” he said.
“And if the 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.
“Everybody will be able to access it, including those from neighbouring West African countries. Our experience at TETFUND showed that many of the research requests had to do with the non-availability of particular equipment.
“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.
“The cost at the moment is only N190,552,000. N190 million will be made available by the FG and the University of Ibadan will be adding N552,000 as their own counterpart fund from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).”
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