The committee membership is drawn from six West and Central African countries universities who had earlier submitted their proposals for evaluation and were successful in the screening processes that enabled them to benefit from the World Bank grant.
Speaking at the pre-meeting media briefing, the Secretary General of the Association of African Universities (AAU), Professor Etienne Ehile, said following the inaugural meeting of the PSC in Dakar, Senegal, in October 2013, PSC members extensively discussed the reports of the international experts who reviewed the 52 proposals submitted by higher education institutions that led to the emergence of 15 centres of excellence.
According to him, five centres were on science, technology, engineering and mathematics discipline, six on health and the remaining four on agriculture, saying the project was designed and conceived with a view to making higher education work for the development of Africa by attracting the best brains in terms of student and faculty.
The Executive Secretary, National University Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie, said the commission as custodians of higher education, had responsibilities to assist the centres and other universities in the sub region in the attainment of their mandates of teaching, research and community service.
Nigeria, according to World Bank, would receive about $70 million (N11.2 billion) for its 10 universities that were successful during the screening processes.
The Nigerian universities are Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta for Agricultural Development and Sustainable Environment; Bayero University, Nigeria, for Dryland Agriculture, and Benue State University, Nigeria, for Food Technology and Research.
Others include Redeemers University, Nigeria, for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, University of Jos, Nigeria, for Phytomedicine Research and Development, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria, for Neglected Tropical Diseases and Forensic Biotechnology, University of Benin, Nigeria, for Reproductive Health and Innovation, African University of Science and Technology, Nigeria, for Materials, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, for Oil Field Chemicals and Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, for Science, Technology and Knowledge.