The Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, has indicated the need for a robust relationship between the ministries of communication and Education as well as the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) in order to bridge the gap in research output in Nigerian universities and industrial commercialization accorded them. This he noted will guarantee well-bred young ICT professionals that will catapult the country’s economy deploying robust technological devices.
The minister disclosed this at the foundation laying ceremony of NCS Information Technology Innovation Center in Lagos recently.
Shittu stated “I have noted with much concern the gap between research output from our universities and the level of industrial commercialization accorded them; as earlier mentioned by the NCS President. I wish to propose a high-level tripartite dialogue between my Ministry, the Federal Ministry of Education and the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) to address this concern. It is my strong desire that this Centre that we are laying its foundation stone today will also be able to bridge part of this gap”.
Assuring that the innovation center will greatly help Nigeria technology-wise, the minister called on all well-meaning Nigerians to partner the NCS so as to make this project a reality. “I am really looking forward to seeing this Centre become operational during the life of this administration. This is by no means an easy task; however, with the interactions I have had with the current leadership of NCS and people here today, I have no doubt in mind that this arduous task will be achieved”.
He added Technology, particularly ICT, is the critical driver of the knowledge-based economy of our post-modern world. “As many notable pundits predicted in the 20th Century, emphasis and global relevance in today’s 21st Century world, has shifted from nations with huge natural resources to nations with developed human resources that can technologically explore, exploit and manage natural resources for the benefit of mankind. Thus Nigeria cannot afford to lag behind in this trend.
“Today, our post-colonial national revenue generation model of an oil-export-only economy has been clearly shown to be unsustainable in the 21st Century. The obvious solution, as experts have pointed out is to diversify the productive base of our national economy and urgently train and re-train our national workforce technologically and digitally. This solution is, as can be easily seen, an undeniable integral programme of the central ‘CHANGE’ policy and mantra of the incumbent administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Today, as we make history by laying the foundation cornerstone of this Technology Innovation Centre, I am persuaded that the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) is sending out a strong message which announces its robust buy-in and optimal compliance with Mr. President’s ‘Change’ agenda. A Centre dedicated to technological innovation will clearly be a major part of the answer to the national objective of training and re-training our national workforce technologically and digitally” he added.
Professor Sola Aderounmu, President of NCS said the center became imperative because the importance of the IT sector as an agent of change and development cannot be overemphasized.
All over the world, IT is a major driver of the economy. Being the acknowledged professional authority in this sector, our aims are socio-economic growth, job creation, poverty reduction, and deepened diversification of the economy. ”NCS is firmly committed to partnering the FGN to build an inclusive, prosperous and digitally enabled nation, hence the following recommendations.
“In our Over Thirty Six (36) years of existence: Nigeria Computer Society has gotten the Federal Government to pass Act Number 49 of 1993 establishing Computer Professionals Registration Council (CPN) which regulates the profession and practice of information technology in Nigeria; NCS also worked with the Federal Government to establish the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) which formulates policies and develops IT initiatives and recently worked with the Federal Government in establishing the Ministry of Communications Technology among others” he added.