The Federal Government has promised to establish an Information Communication Technology (ICT) University in the first quarter of 2017.
Mr Adebayo Shittu, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja when he featured at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum.
“By the grace of God, in the next three to six months, we should have established in Nigeria an ICT university which will be first of its kind in Africa.
“This is with the sole purpose of providing training environment and training facilities to make the industry have enough skilled manpower in various sub-sectors of the ICT sector.
“I am happy to say that we already have what is called the Digital Bridge Institute which is for short term training programmes in six locations across the country and we hope to transform this institute into the ICT University of Nigeria.
“I am already talking to a lot of operators at the international level, Facebook, Motorola, Ericson, all of them. We are encouraging them to come and adopt the university campuses as their own.
“They can bring in money and bring in faculties and a lot of logistics to assist in training Nigerians and we can now export these trained skilled facilitators to African countries to work.’’
Shittu said that this would also give us a lot of foreign exchange, adding that the ministry was at the stage of discussing with the Ministry of Education and the National University Commission (NUC).
“And all of these have already given us support, so we think that within the first quarter of the year, the implementation committee will be set up with a view to putting things in proper place for the eventual take-off,’’ he said.
The minister said that the ministry had also inaugurated the National Digital Literacy Council to ensure that Nigerians was digitalised.
He said that the council would drive the process of encouraging Nigerians to love digitisation and to love ICT “which is one thing that will eventually become the soul of business in this country.’’
“ICT is like electricity, you don’t see electricity but you feel it. Without electricity, no other sector can survive.
“In the same vein, ICT is one enabler of every other facet of development at the national level, local level, even at the personal level. So, this digitisation is to ensure that everybody keys to it.
“We are looking at a situation within one or two years, various files in offices will disappear and digitisation
will take over instead of people piling up files, all that they have is their I-pad and computers.
“You as journalists, if you want to send news, you don’t have to write it in hard copy, you send it through digitisation and we hope that it will cut across all sectors of our economy,’’ he said.