THE Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Computer Warehouse Group (CWG Plc), Austin Okere, has called on stakeholders in the private and public sectors of the economy to contribute their quota towards ensuring that the Nigerian Education Research Network (NgREN) is not allowed to rot away as a white elephant project.
He made this known at the recent Computer Warehouse Group Plc closing gong ceremony held on the trading floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) building in Lagos.
According to Okere, “NgREN is a research network platform built by a consortium of indigenous technology companies. It aims at making affordable broadband available to Nigerian universities and their communities as well as serve as a collaborative network that will allow for knowledge sharing and research collaboration. The first phase of the project which was launched in 2013 connected 27 universities and about one million staff members, faculty and students.”
He noted that the survival of the NgREN has been threatened by the failure of the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) to pay for its annual bandwidth fees.
“The World Bank and the Federal Government had financed the project and it received international acclaim at the 2014 World Economic Forum summit in Tianjin, China. We do not think that it should be allowed to die on the account of such a small need especially when we consider its impact on our educational system and the society at large”, he added .
Reacting, Executive Director, Market Operations and Technology of the NSE, Ade Bajomo, observed that the NgREN is a potential catalyst both for the growth of the tertiary education system in Nigeria and the growth of the nation’s economy as a whole.