NCC gets Ganduje, Sanusi Lamido support to bridge gap in ICT

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Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen

Executive Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said his administration will provide scholarship to 100 youths in the State to bridge the gap in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Specifically, he said 60 males and 40 females will be the initial beneficiaries.

He spoke recently at the maiden matriculation ceremony of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), National Innovation Diploma programme in Kano.

Ganduje was full of praises for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), led by the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, for considering Kano one of the centres for this programme.

The initiative of the NCC led by Danbatta resulting in the approval by National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to make DBI, Kano Campus as an Innovation Enterprise Institute is highly commendable.  The State, he said will take advantage of this as part of efforts to promote ICT diffusion in the State especially in the rural areas across the 44 Local Councils.

Emir of Kano, Muhammed Sanusi II, spoke in a similar way but appealed to the EVC and the Federal Government at all levels to ensure that there is sufficient investment in ICT infrastructure to promote access to ICT by the youths at the grassroots.

The Emir said, “there is no point getting a Diploma in ICT if the only place you can operate is in the city centre” adding that “we need to have more people in the rural areas who can provide ICT services to the rural dwellers to achieve effective results”

The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor said “if the present administration is ready to achieve its change mantra, then there is need to also create the enabling environment for ICT investors to come to the rural area because with the way things are going, the government and the informal sector cannot provide jobs for the population of about 170 million Nigerians but with the ICT field it is possible”.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta said the matriculation of the 24 students into five specialized Information and Communication Technology of the Diploma programme was part of NCC’s efforts to promote the adoption and use of ICT for national development.

Danbatta listed the specialized areas of the Diploma programme to include, software engineering, computer hardware engineering, networking and security, telecommunications and multimedia technology as approved by the National Board for Technical Education NBTE.

He said the program was deliberately designed to offer a rich blend of the theoretical knowledge and practice skills to combine classroom work with intensive laboratory and workshop modules which will prepare and equip them for direct entry into related fields of any University in the Country.

According to him, “Nigeria is in dire need of ICT skills to solve the myriad of problems facing her agriculture, health, education, security, power and other sectors. Adding that this is the only way the country can become a mainstream player in the new digital age”.

The EVC said, “the matriculation is in furtherance of our mandate to equip Nigerians in different fields of ICT, to which the Institute was granted approval as an Innovative Enterprise Institute by the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Board for Technical Education in 2016 to award National Innovation Diploma and these are the first set of students being matriculated for the 2016/2017 academic calendar”.

He urged the matriculating students to embrace the opportunity of obtaining a certificate in National Innovation Diploma program seriously as they will be equipped with the required ICT knowledge and skills to perform optimally with their counterparts in other parts of the world.

Administrator of DBI, Dr. Ike Adinde said, the Institute recorded milestones in the last two years with the support of the EVC. “We joined the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in 2015, becoming one of the six centres of excellence in Africa under the ITU ICT Academy Network”.

“The Institute’s partnership with the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB was expanded during the year as it provided technical assistance to the Board in preparation for the recently concluded computer-based Universal Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME)”

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