To ensure that Nigeria keep pace with the rapidly changing technological advancement in the global Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry, to enhance the ICT learning environment, stimulation of critical thinking, propel innovation, bridge the digital divide, increase contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) using ICT, the Ministry of Communications under the management of the Minister, Barrister Abdur- Raheem Adebayo Shittu has inaugurated an implementation committee on the proposed ICT University for Nigeria.
While delivering his inaugural address, Barr Shittu said that ICT plays a critical role in the sustainable growth and development of any nation, citing Nigeria as example, which he said, stands “at the rate of 24.42% growth, the ICT sector is currently the fastest growing in the Nigerian economy”.
The Minister stated that the proposed Institution would offer variety of programmes aimed at providing professional knowledge and expertise required for specialised careers in the field of Telecommunications, Internet of things, Cyber Security, Robotics, Embedded Systems, Computer Forensics, Digital Media and Entertainment Technology.
The proposed Institution has been endorsed by the Nigerian government, global leaders in the ICT industry such as Cisco, Facebook, Huawei, D – links, Lenovo, Samsung, Apple, Siemens, Intel, Motorola, Ericsson, Dell, HP, IBM, MTN and the Globacom he said.
In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Communications, Arc Sunday Echono, revealed that the proposed higher institution would help to bridge the ICT skill gap been currently witnessed in the country and transform innovations into solutions.
The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami (FBCS) while giving his goodwill message called for a deeper collaboration among stakeholders so as to translate the vision into reality. He applauded the Ministry for the initiative which aims at fostering digital literacy and Digital Literacy falls under the Agency’s key focus of transforming Nigeria’s IT sector thus creating avenue for wealth creation and revenue flow for the Nation.
In his goodwill message, the Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone Arc. Yusuf Kazaure remarked that the Minister since assumption of office has indicated the intention of the government to establish ICT University in order to bridge the huge gap in the sector. “The drive for a new era is paramount so as to diversify the economy from oil to increase country’s revenue. ICT is a single catalyst and enabler to transform the Nigerian economy”, he added.
The members of 19 man committee were drawn from both the public and private sectors, and will be chaired by the immediate past Executive Secretary, National University Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie, while Dr Amina Sambo, the Acting National Coordinator of the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship, (OIIE) a subsidiary of NITDA serves as secretary and Dr Suleiman Mohammed, Head, Budget Unit at NITDA is one of the members.
The Committee’s Terms of Reference include drafting a robust curriculum for the proposed Institution, enable utilization of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) facilities where necessary, propose faculty members and resource persons, provide a framework for collaboration between the University and the Industry Stakeholders, work out a sustainable Private Public Partnership for its funding and draft regulations, standards and framework for the smooth operation of the University.