Abuja – The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has urged the National Universities Commission (NUC) to build a solid information base for Nigerian universities via e-learning platforms.
Adamu gave the task while declaring open a one day EBSCOHost Capacity Development workshop for Nigerian universities on Tuesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that EBSCO is a U.S.-based company and provider of research databases, e-journals, e-books and provider of academic e-libraries to schools and corporations.
Represented by Prof. Anthony Anwukah, the Minister of State for Education, Adamu reiterated his directive that all Nigerian universities should subscribe to the Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN).
He said that information is an important ingredient for national development, hence universities needed to develop robust information resource base that would support them as they sought to be global players.
“We are pleased that NUC is leading the way in supporting our university system towards being world class not only in facilities and teachers but also in information resources.
“We are indeed happy that another value is being added to the NgREN by providing electronic books and journals which will be accessed by all the users.
“We do not see any reason why universities should independently pay for service like bandwidth or electronic journals subscription when those services are available on the NgREN platform.
“That is why we have directed that every Nigerian tertiary education institution should move their connectivity and service need to NgREN immediately,’’ he said.
Earlier, NUC’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Julius Okojie, said that the essence of the workshop was to provide first hand training and sensitisation on access and use of EBSCO e-Book Academic Collection.
He said that the workshop was a key information resource meant to support Nigerian universities in their drive for excellence.
Okojie said that NgREN, which is championing the workshop, is a key driver in the transformation of information and its availability in Nigerian institutions.
He thanked the EBSCO Host team for the partnership and support which was initiated between 2001 and 2005.
“At the moment, EBSCO has given trial access to the NUC and that is currently available on the NgREN network.
“We have also been discussing with EBSCO to allow us have trial access to full test of e-books and e-journals for a longer duration after which we shall be paying subscriptions.
“The databases of interest include the 13 disciplines that are taught in the Nigerian University System.
“These and other subscriptions would be available on the NgREN network henceforth; any university that refuses to join the NgREN would lose out on these services,’’ he said.
EBSCOHost’s Vice-President, Mrs Collen Mills, who spoke via video-conferencing from South Africa, said that the firm had developed products to solve the needs of library users around the world.
According to her, EBSCOHost will, through NgREN, provide latest e-library technologies to Nigerian universities. (NAN)