The Minister of State for Education, Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba disclosed that the Federal Executive Council, FEC on Wednesday approved the sum of N190.5 million for the purchase of a microscope by the University of Ibadan, Oyo State.
While briefing State House correspondence at the end of the weekly FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, Nwajiuba said it has become necessary to purchase such a piece of equipment because the only one currently being used by the famous institution has become obsolete.
He said: “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 that is totally directed at enhancing whatever material, looking at the 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 since its inception in 1948.
“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 the 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, Ph.D. students of the institution had to go abroad for their research involving such a piece of 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 Ph.D. 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.
With this equipment, the Minister believes that University of Ibadan will become the fulcrum for many other research faculties around the country since everybody will be able to access it, including those from neighbouring West African countries.
The Minister added that at the moment, the cost of the microscope is only N190,552,000. While the Federal Government is ready to make N190 million available, the University of Ibadan is expected to add N552,000 as their own component fund from IGR.