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World Bank, AAU, NUC Team Heap Plaudits on Covenant University’s ACE Project

A team from the World Bank on Supervisory Mission to Covenant Applied Informatics and Communication Africa Centre of Excellence (CApIC-ACE) has commended the state of readiness of the Centre to advance research endeavours that will meet the aspirations of the World Bank.

The Team Lead, Professor Thuo Simon Gikiri, an ICT expert from the World Bank, said the delegation was impressed with the quality of leadership the monitoring and evaluation team of the Centre was bringing to bear on its operations.

Professor Gikiri said the implementation supervisory mission visit was to review the Centre’s progress thus far and to see where there was a need for improvement. According to him, "On this supervisory mission visit, we are here to help. See where your Centre is lagging behind the set timeline, so we can see how to help you gain speed."

He said it is the desire of the team to see that the African Centre of Excellence in Covenant becomes a unique Centre that will be very strong and deliver on its purpose and mandate.

Another member of the team, a STEM Expert from NUC and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Olufemi Adebisi Bamiro, said he was impressed with the strides that Covenant University has taken over the past years, noting it was a thing of joy to see her compete and perform excellently when placed side by side with the nation’s first generation universities.

Professor Bamiro noted that Covenant University’s Africa Centre of Excellence can become the continent’s best Centre with the level of operational framework in place if they can address some concerns the team identified in the course of the supervisory mission visit.

An officer from the Association of African Universities (AAU), the Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU), Mr. Schenineda Kwaku Ankomah, was enthralled by the level of work in place at the Covenant University ACE. According to him, "I think it is time for Covenant University ACE to start blowing their own trumpet, because what I have seen here with the little fund you have drawn, from available funds, you have gone farther than those who have drawn more funds."

Mr. Ankomah said with what is in place at the Centre, the ACE-Covenant has all it takes to become a reference point for all World Bank funded Africa Centre of Excellence because of its astuteness and results.

The Assistant Leader of CApIC-ACE, Professor Emmanuel Adetiba, said some of the issues identified by the team are already attended to, with the Centre in the process of taking custody of HPA worth over N100 million, while an additional 24 servers are already in the works for installation that will make the Federated Genomic (FEDGEN) cloud infrastructure in the centre more of a continental operation that will cut across western, eastern, and southern African regions.

The Centre’s Leader, Professor Ezekiel Adebiyi, said CApIC-ACE recognises the need to tweak the procurement process of the Centre so that reagents and other research materials needed to advance the work of the Centre can be quickly and speedily accessible to the students.

Professor Adebiyi welcomed the recommendations of the team and promised that the Centre’s leadership would work assiduously and tick through each of the recommendations made, thereby repositioning CApIC-ACE as a Centre to be admired by the next visiting window.

In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abiodun H. Adebayo, appreciated the visiting team for the quality of supervision done on the University’s Centre of Excellence, noting that it has helped grow the international student profile of the Covenant.

Professor Adebayo said the Board of Regents of the University was passionate about the success of the Centre, which is why it has continued to approve requisite funds in a bid to make the Centre a success story from take-off.

Professor Adebayo said the deliberateness and intentionality of the team in carrying out a detailed assessment of the Centre, noting that the challenges identified in the Centre are teething challenges that the operational framework put in place by the University system can surmount as the Centre’s operation proceeds.

The Vice-Chancellor assured the supervisory mission team that the University’s management approval mechanism for the needs of the Centre would be given immediate and speedy attention to meet the aspirations of the supervising body.

Present at the meeting were ACE Impact Project Manager from the National Universities Commission (NUC), Mr. Obiechefu Ukwuagu; ACE Impact Monitoring and Evaluation Officer from the National Universities Commission (NUC), Ms. Patricia Eromosele.

Also present was the Registrar, Covenant University, Mr Emmanuel Igban; Director, Financial Services, Pastor Gbenga Kiki; Director, Academic Planning Unit, Professor Philip Aizebokhai; Professor Emeka Iweala; Head, Monitoring and Evaluation CApIC-ACE, Professor Olubanke Ogunlana; Dr Itunu Isewon; Communications Officer, CApIC-ACE, Dr Thelma Ekanem; Project Manager, CApIC-ACE, Mr Babajide Ayodele; CApIC-ACE Project Accountant, Mr Olumuyiwa Omisakin; Project Secretary, CApIC-ACE, Ms Helen Jevwegaga; and Procurement Officer, CApIC-ACE, Mr David Obaoye .



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