CWG leads consortium to deliver Nigerian Research and Education Network
Computer Warehouse Group Plc, a leading Nigeria’s information and communication technology company, has led a consortium of partners including Airtel, Phase 3, Medallion and Cisco to build the highest level of redundancy –duplication of critical components or functions of a system with the intention of increasing reliability of the system– for the Nigerian Research and Education Network, NgREN.
As the first of its kind in West and Central Africa, NgREN, commissioned by the President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja recently is an IT-driven educational resource network that connects most federal universities in the country.
Speaking on the project, the Chief Executive Officer, CWG Plc, Mr. Austin Okere, said, “We have never been in doubt of local capacity to deliver major technology projects for government. We have matured in delivering projects of this scale, and are grateful to the NUC and World Bank for the opportunity to prove this with the timely delivery of the NgREN”
While stressing that the company looked forward to the opportunity of extending this success in the next phases of the project, Okere said, “It will be recalled that CWG Plc was named a World Economic Forum Global Growth Company at the 2014 WEF Africa. CWG was selected for this recognition based on our phenomenal growth, global corporate citizenship, executive leadership and impact on the competitive landscape of the ICT industry in Africa.”
The first phase of the project, under the Science and Technology Education Post-Basic, STEPB, initiative covers the 27 premier federal universities in Nigeria and their over one million students and staff.
Their interconnection via a fully redundant broadband network was completed in record time, way ahead of the schedule set by the World Bank, co-sponsors of the project.
Describing the technical feature of the project, Okere said, “The NgREN currently delivers 155mbps, STM1, capacity to each university and connects to the Multiprotocol Layered Switch, MPLS, core network, which has a 10Gbps capacity, as well as 465mbps, 3STM1, internet capacity, providing high definition tele-presence capabilities for real time collaboration, voice over internet protocol, VoIP, shared access to research content and joint experimentation projects.”
Future phases of the project shall include the deepening of research and education content through partnerships with global research and learning content providers and also expanding the network to include all Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of education Nationwide.
Minister of State for Education, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, on behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan, said: “I join the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) and the National Universities Commission (NUC) in the celebration of this achievement in the establishment of the Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN).”
He commended the individuals and groups that dedicated time and energy to make it a reality.
“Let me particularly appreciate the World Bank for its support to the NgREN project, the Executive Secretary of the NUC for championing its cause and the hardworking team of dedicated individuals from within the university system he put together to realize this dream.”
He said government expects all education and research institutions to enlist as members of the NgREN and that the current low ranking of Nigerian universities in quality of teaching and research output will improve significantly within a short time as a result.
He directed the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), the Nigerian Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) to provide the necessary funds to ensure the broadband infrastructure and services already provided are maintained and improved upon for the use of all education and research institutions in Nigeria.
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