The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has signed a N2 billion Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with six Nigerian universities, one representing each of the six geo-political zones in the country, to develop their engineering education capacity.
The beneficiaries are the University of Ilorin, representing the North-Central; the University of Ibadan, representing the South-West; the University of Port Harcourt, representing the South-South; the University of Maiduguri, representing the North-East; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, representing the North-West and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, representing the South-East.
Speaking at the MoA signing ceremony in Abuja on Friday, June 20, 2014, the Managing Director of NLNG, Mr. Babs Omotowa, said that the agreement, which was sequel to the plan unfolded by the company in March this year, was for the implementation of phase one of the company’s University Support Programme.
Mr. Omotowa disclosed that the NLNG would spend $2 million (about N340 million) on the construction of modern engineering laboratories with cutting-edge equipment in each of the six universities.
Describing the signing of the MoA with the six universities as “the first milestone in NLNG’s University Support Programme”, the NLNG boss said, “The MoA spells out modalities for the execution of the Programme, ranging from financing to contracts and procurement, as well as safety, quality assurance, quality control and sustainability of laboratories.”
The Managing Director said that the implementation strategy was structured to meet the universities’ technical needs and specifications.
Disclosing that comparative advantages and peculiarities of each university were considered in the strategy, Mr. Omotowa said, “We believe this is the most efficient model of project delivery”.
The NLNG boss said that the six universities were selected based on rankings by the National Universities Commission (NUC), international bodies, as well as their individual long-standing contributions to the development of local capacity in Nigeria.
Mr. Omotowa said that the selection of the universities was based on their outstanding performance in engineering and technical education in each of the six geo-political zones in the country.
While responding on behalf of his colleagues, the Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Prof Abdullahi Mustapha, assured the management of NLNG that the universities would live up to expectation in the use of the laboratories and equipment.
Prof. Mustapha stated that he and his colleagues would ensure accountability and transparency in the construction of the laboratories and also ensure that the equipment would be used to facilitate skill acquisition, improve teaching and learning and as well as prepare students for the industries.
The ABU helmsman said that the Vice-Chancellors were committed to ensuring the success of the programme, which he said would help in improving the standard of the universities and put them at par with their peers worldwide.
He urged other organisations to emulate the NLNG’s gesture and support educational development in the country.