FG set to establish ICT University, says minister

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The Federal Government has concluded plans to establish the first Information and  Communication Technology (ICT) University in Nigeria within the next three months.

The Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, stated this on Tuesday while featuring in a quarterly radio programme, Guest of the month, at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Ibadan Zonal Office.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister spoke on “Harnessing the Potentials in the Communications Sector for Sustainable Development.’’

Shittu said that the university would be an off-shoot of an existing ICT-based institute, The Digital Bridge Institute, currently in operation in six centres across the country.

“It is time to leverage on the bountiful opportunities in the Communications sector to generate additional revenue for government.

“We all know that ICT is now redefining how we live, how we deliver businesses and services in terms of government to government as well as between government and citizens,” he said.

He said that the university would be the first of its kind on the continent of Africa.

“We currently have what we call Digital Bridge Institute. It has six campuses-one in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Owerri, Yola and in Benue state.

Shittu said that the present standard of education in the universities do not meet the needs of industry operators.

He said this informed the proposed upgrading of the Digital Bridge Institute.

The minister said the institute would become the ICT University, in partnership with all the leading institutions in ICT throughout the world.

“I have had the privilege of speaking with a lot of operators throughout the world including Motorola, Mark Zuckerberg  (Facebook founder) and others.

“They have promised to partner with us and bring in a lot funding and logistics to be able to sustain such a university which will provide world class hands to train experts in telecoms industry,’’ the minister said.

He also said that he had embarked on administrative processes to ensure that all the stakeholders were carried along in the establishment of the 21st century university.

The minister said that as soon as the process was completed, Nigerians would see the birth of the institution.

“This will be the fastest means to create employment for our teeming youth, improve access and enhance quality of service delivery and affordability in our country.

“I took a memo to Mr President on it and he asked me to get the input of the Ministry of Education and the National University Commission (NUC).

“I am glad to say that I got positive inputs from the two agencies and we are at the stage of going to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval.

“As soon as we get the approval of FEC, we will set up an implementation committee and within three months, we should be able to take off.

“The infrastructure are on ground because it is an existing institution that we are set to transform to the ICT University,” Shittu said. (NAN)

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