The project will provide an efficient network infrastructure for the research and education community.
The National Universities Commission, NUC, in partnership with the committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, CVC, has established a foundation, the Nigerian Research and Education Network, NgREN, that would redefine research and learning in tertiary institutions across the country.
This was disclosed on Tuesday at the official commissioning of NgREN held at the Commission’s office in Abuja.
The project, which is supported by the World Bank, would seek to create an elaborate infrastructural backbone to interconnect all research and education institutions in Nigeria and link them with other research and education networks worldwide.
The Executive Secretary of the NUC, and chairman of NgREN board, Julius Okojie, said the foundation would provide more and cheaper bandwidth for member institutions; provide an efficient network infrastructure for the research and education community; and establish a framework that would enable resource sharing and facilities innovation and development.
“The project will provide network services and applications such as identify federation, e-content, hosting, network security, bandwidth management, IP telephony, video-conferencing, among others to the research.
“It will also promote linkages and collaboration between the research community, industry, government and other international research and education communities in order to transform research into commercial products for the benefits of the nations,” Mr. Okojie said.
The Minister of State of Education, Nyesom Wike, who represented President Goodluck Jonathan, assured the NUC that government would support the project.
He said the federal government has shown various commitments to ensure the growth of the education sector in Nigeria.
“I wish to assure you that research and innovation funding will continue to receive special government attention to guarantee the success of the project. I call on the administrators and the union of all sectors of education to put an end to the frequent upheavals in the system,” Mr. Wike said.
“Government has also demonstrated sincere commitment through willingness to dialogue with stakeholders. Government has also shown commitment to infrastructure support through research and capacity development funding for staff for education and development.
“The project is expected to drive down the exorbitant costs of bandwidth while at the same time increasing the capacity of the network members to deliver world class teaching and research services,” he explained.
The NgREN project is in its first phase and considered a critical component in the implementation of a full-mesh, high performance national backbone network interconnecting all member campuses to provide state-of-the-art high performance/broadband network with internet access.