The Minister of Education, Dr. Sam Egwu, has commended the MTN Foundation for supporting the national effort to bridge the digital divide by donating fully equipped digital libraries to Nigerian universities.
Dr Egwu gave the commendation at the formal commissioning of a digital library donated to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka by the MTN Foundation (MTNF), the corporate social investment implementing vehicle of MTN Nigeria, in the third phase of its flagship Education Portfolio project, UniversitiesConnect. The University of Lagos and the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria are the second and third beneficiaries of the project.
In this fast evolving digital age, we need to equip our children with the skills to compete favourably with their peers from all over the world. That is why this intervention by the MTN Foundation is both timely and strategic. It is indeed very impressive and commendable, said the Minister, who also commissioned a modern library complex built by the institution.
The UniversitiesConnect programme is the tertiary institution version of the flagship project of the education portfolio, SchoolsConnect, which is helping to equip secondary students and teachers with the skills to function effectively in the digital age.
Wale Goodluck, Corporate Services Executive, MTN said the UniversitiesConnect seeks to provide students and lecturers with access to the vital information they need to excel in their studies. The project will enhance research activities at the ivory towers by availing them of resources from libraries across the world. The UniversitiesConnect digital library consists of 128 networked computers, 3, servers, 2 high capacity printers, one sound proof 100KVA generator, VSAT equipment and internet connectivity with a 2 year subscription. The library is linked to world-class digital libraries across the world, providing access to electronic resources like books, journals, magazines etc, covering all subjects from Law, Architecture and Medicine to Arts, and Engineering. The University of Benin in Edo State has been selected to benefit from the fourth phase of the project and work scheduled to commence later in the month. Education is very key to national development. MTN will continue to seek for avenues to contribute its quota to enhancing the quality of education that our children receive in the schools said Mr. Goodluck.
The outgoing Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Prof. Chinedu Nebo in his remarks at the commissioning ceremony commended the MTN Foundation for responding to a critical need of the institution. While calling on other corporate organizations to emulate MTN Foundation, he promised that the institution would fulfill its own part of the deal by ensuring the sustainability of the project.
I am happy to hand over the UniversitiesConnect digital library to my successor, Prof. Barth Okolo. He is a performer and a man of integrity, who will ensure that this facility is well maintained and utilized for the good of this great institution, he said.
The MTN Foundation currently has over 120 projects sites in the important areas of Health, Economic Empowerment and Education in 28 States of the country, including the Federal Capital Territory.