The Science and Technology Education, Post–Basic (STEP-B) Project has been said to have contributed immensely to the revamping of the education sector, particularly, in the areas of Research and Linkages.

The Project Manager, Science and Technology Education, Post–Basic (STEP-B), Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Professor Okanlawon Onagbesan, made this known while fielding questions from FUNAAB Bulletin on the activities of the STEP-B Project in the University.

Describing STEP-B as a World Bank-assisted teaching and research project in Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in Nigeria, the Project Manager, who is also the Director of Biotechnology, said FUNAAB had benefitted from the Project, to the tune of N126.7m.

He disclosed that STEP-B grants had been wisely expended on the procurement of teaching, research, Information Technology equipment and facilities to improve learning, as well as made the activities of the University more visible on the Internet.

“For us here, we have received N99m for projects on Biotechnology and we have also received about N27.7m for Innovator Of Tomorrow (IOT) Students, which is meant to assist Postgraduate students in their research and thesis’’, he added.

Professor Onagbesan noted that 52 Postgraduate students of the University had benefitted from the IOT scheme, receiving about half a Million Naira each, towards their research.

According to him, the criteria for benefitting in the IOT grant among others, require the Postgraduate students to write and submit their Projects through their respective Deans, after which they will be evaluated at the STEP-B headquarters in Abuja.

The Project Manager, however, said more students had enrolled in the University to study Biotechnology, while a large number of staff and members of the public had been able to make use of the laboratory for their projects.

He disclosed that some of the laboratory equipment in FUNAAB, procured through the STEP-B Project, included the PCR Machine, ELISA Machine, GEL Documentation System, Ultra Freezer, which could freeze items up to minus 80 degrees Centigrade, while the AS Machine, Protein Analytical System and Gas Chromatography System will be added soon.

Professor Onagbesan commended the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, for being very supportive in the substance of the project, stressing that the STEP-B Project aided the University’s chances of benefitting in the Agriculture Research Council of Nigeria’s grants while it also contributed to its favourable Web Ranking, for which FUNAAB was ranked 2nd in Nigeria and 35th in Africa.

Professor Onagbesan pleaded with government not to stop the Project as it had helped to promote teaching and research in the nation’s Ivory Towers.