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CWG Possesses IT Infrastructures to Operate NgREN

CWG Possesses IT Infrastructures to Operate NgREN

Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) said it has the necessary IT infrastructure that will power the Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN) that will enable it to provide world-class research tools such as virtual laboratories and simulators to tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

The pan-African IT company stated this ” at the 2015 education conference organised by the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), the American University of Nigeria (AUN) and the Digital Promise Foundation, in Abuja.

CWG’s chief technology officer, Mr. James Agada, while speaking on the topic “Using PPP to Advance ICT in Tertiary Education” said CWG can operate the NgREN and provide a high-performance computing facility that will provide world-class tools such as virtual laboratories, simulators and academic and research tools to users at an affordable cost.

He said the service can be rendered at a fixed subscription fee per student per semester or on a pay per use basis for both students and the faculty of schools.

“We are already working on this model and look forward to the support of the NUC and the universities to make it a success,” he said.

He added that the ability of tertiary institutions to generate useful knowledge depends on access to other repositories, access to tools, laboratories and an ability to work in an enabling ecosystem which technology has made accessible and affordable.

“Tools like Google, Cousera and Authorea has made it possible to democratise access to an almost infinite pool of knowledge, tools, laboratories and collaborators without hindrances of time and distance,” he stressed

He, however believed that the cost of acquisition, operating, maintaining and upgrading ICT will make it difficult for Nigerian universities acting individually to achieve as much as they do not have the budget for anything beyond a modest investment in ICT.

He said, this is because most universities are by nature and law, not profit making organisations, so it is difficult for them to make these investments and hope to recoup.

Agada also noted that this challenge is compounded by the fact that Government funding of the universities is going to be continually hampered by the fast dwindling revenue. He advised that the Public Private Partnership (PPP) option remains the only viable option for funding the higher utilization of ICT for research and learning in tertiary institutions.

He explained that PPP can be made attractive for private organisations if they are allowed to build out and maintain the infrastructure and services while the university community utilises the ICT infrastructure for research and learning within an established social and legal contexts.

The Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN), was built by a consortium of indigenous technology companies led by the Computer Warehouse Group (CWG Plc). The project was implemented under the Science and Technology Education Post-Basic (STEP-B) initiative. It covers 27 Premier Federal Universities in Nigeria and their over one million students and staff.


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