The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited said it has earmarked $12 million to provide ultra-modern engineering laboratories in six universities in Nigeria.
The Managing Director of NLNG, Babs Omotowa, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Lagos that the project involved building, refurbishing and equipping of the laboratories to boost quality of science education and scientists in the country.
Omotowa said the project, known as University Support Programme, was one of NLNG’s Corporate Social Responsibility projects, which started in 2014.
He listed the beneficiaries to include Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Ibadan; University of Ilorin; University of Port-Harcourt; University of Maiduguri; and University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
According to him, NLNG will spend $2 million to build and equip the laboratories of each of the universities.
Omotowa said: “The quality and quantity of entries for the ‘Nigeria Prize for Science’ suggested that it is not well with our science and scientists.
“The immediate and remote causes include poor infrastructure, poor funding and falling standards of education.
“The situation was so dire that NLNG decided on another type of intervention, which is to build and equip engineering laboratories of six universities in Nigeria.
“In 2014, we flagged off a University Support Programme to help develop engineering education capacity in the country.
“These laboratories will be world-class and therefore, well positioned to enable researchers be at par with peers across the world.”
The NLNG boss said the situation of science and scientists in the country, although improving, would take some time to turn around.
According to Omotowa, the Ahmadu Bello University’s laboratory has already been inaugurated.
He said work in the remaining five universities were at various stages of completion.
Omotowa said most of them had completed the laboratory buildings and procured the equipment, while the installation was yet to be done.
He said the project would be fully completed in March to support the development of teaching and research.