By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N190 million for the University of Ibadan in Oyo State to purchase a microscope.
The purchase of the equipment which is expected to be delivered within 16 weeks has become necessary as the only one currently in use by the nation’s premier university has become obsolete.
The Minister of State for Education, Mr Emeka Nwajiuba, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the 37th virtual FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said acquiring the equipment would save the country some money which until now had been expended on sponsoring researchers abroad on account of its non-availability.
“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 years 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 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.
“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, 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,” the minister said.
Nwajiuba stressed: “lf 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.
“The cost at the moment is only N190,552,000. N190 million will be made available by the federal government, while the University of Ibadan will be adding N552,000 as their own counterpart fund from Internally Generated Revenue.”