The World Bank has designated 10 Nigerian Universities as African Centres of Excellence for outstanding  research programmes in key areas while each of the centres is to receive a total grant of N12.8billion to run approved research projects between 2014 and 2017.
The Minister of Education, Barrister Nyesom Wike, who disclosed this in Jos at the 2014 Annual Conference of West Africa Research Innovations Management Association (WARIMA), said there is a disconnection between research findings and their applications by relevant productive entities outside Nigerian Universities.
According to him, for any meaningful development or progress, there must be a fundamental marriage between research institutions and industries, adding that the linkage in this regard propelled the development and success story of the Asian Tiger.
The minister, who was represented by his Special Assistant, Mr Lambert Oparah, said the administration was determined to encourage research and innovations in Nigerian tertiary institutions, adding that that World Bank supported science and technology education and recently granted 11 higher institutions between $4 million and $5.5 million in various research areas.
“The research areas include food security, vaccine and infectious diseases, renewable energy, software engineering, environment etc. Through the high impact fund, well over N109 billion has been provided in phases to support tertiary institutions in enhancing their capacity as centres of excellence,” he said.
In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, Professor Hayward Babale Mafuyai, appealed to government at all levels to ensure sustained funding until the physical infrastructure, instructional and research materials and equipment deficits are eliminated so that tertiary institutions can deliver on proffering solutions to socio-economic problems confronting the nation.
Professor Mafuyai said the University of Jos was recently bestowed with the award of African Centre of Excellence in Phytomedicine Research and Development, adding that the grant of USD 8million will be provided for the university as a result of the award.

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