The National Universities Commission (NUC) says Africa Centre of Excellence (ACE) projects running in some Nigeria universities is not a World Bank project as always been said but a Nigerian government funded projects with funds borrowed from the World Bank.
ACE Projects Coordinator NUC Dr. Joshua Atah made the clarification when some World Bank experts led by Dr. Dimitrios Noukakis were on a courtesy visit to the Vice-Chancellor National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) at the university’s headquarters in Abuja.
Dr. Atah said the clarification become imperative in view of the misconceptions from some quarters that ACE across the country is a world Bank project. “May be its important for us to emphasize the fact that this project is not a world Bank project as we have always been saying. This is a Nigeria government project. We had only borrowed money from the world Bank to implement an idea that we think will add some value to our institutions for which we do not have the money immediately”.
Atah added that the proposal submitted that gave birth to Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) neither came from the world Bank nor NUC but from NOUN as such it is the idea of NOUN “But it went through some scrutiny and we (NUC) found that its in line with the objectives of the broad project that we designed in conjunction with the world bank and had to borrow money from the world Bank to implement”.
The ACE National Project Coordinator charged all ACE centres across the country to begin to see the project from that point of view maintaining that the guidelines are there “With no one shoving anything down your throat so long as you stay within the boundaries of the requirements of the projects.
“We are going to be expecting a lot from you in terms of ideas, innovations and best practices making changes that will bring about positive transformation in not just the centre but the entire university”.
Dr. Atah said he considers ACETEL lucky in the ACE Projects execution due to the dual mode manner of operations at NOUN. With over 500,000 students Atah said the potential is there for ACETEL to fulfil many of the disbursement link indicators. He particularly mentioned ACETEL should be able to scoop funds for students enrollment at both national and within the region, leveraging on the expertise of both the Pro and Vice-Chancellor of NOUN as academics of global repute to stand out as a model that other universities will emulate.
Atah assures the university and the centre of NUCs support at all time especially in terms of national and international accreditation, requiring contacts for people to come from any part of the globe to assist in academics “we hope to be working with you closely to ensure that we deliver on the expectations of this project”