The Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, has said that the Federal Government would launch its Fibre-optic Research and Education Network, connecting 27 universities to the Internet by July.
Johnson announced the plan in Abuja on Tuesday at the ongoing Ministerial Platform when she presented the ministry's achievements in the two years of President Goodluck Jonathan's administration.
She said the project currently being tested was part of the ministry's initiative to make Nigerian students a priority in the development of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector.
She said that the project was in collaboration with Ministry of Education, National Universities Commission, Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) and World Bank STEP-B in the deployment of the education network to institutions.
"Next month we will launch that Fibre-optic Research and Education Network that is connecting 27 Federal universities to each other by the Internet.
" The USPF supporting this project is expected to also connect 12 medical colleges, 28 off campus sites and nine federal universities by September 2013," she said.
She said that more state universities, polytechnics and colleges of education were expected to be connected to the network by 2014 and 2015.
Johnson said the ministry had initiated another programme, called "Tertiary Institutions Access Project (TIAP)" under which desktop computers, printers, and wireless network facilities, among others, would be provided for tertiary institutions.
She said, "The ministry through its TIAP project had established connectivity in 17 universities and their teaching hospitals using fibre optics technology.
"Since the implementation of the programme, about 204 institutions have connected to it, with 74 institutions in 2012.
"We also have another programme, School Access Project (SAP), providing classmate PCs, with e-learning content and accessories, solar power solutions, high speed Internet connectivity and wireless network deployment to government public schools,'' she said.