BY Emma Elebeke
Cross River State Governor Senator Liyel Imoke says the newly inaugurated ICT hub in Tinapa City, Calabar, was aimed at providing young men and women with capacity and intellect to compete globally with their creative mind and innovation.
The Governor, also stated that the centre apart from serving as an incubation centre for talented youths, it would stimulate a technology driven economy in the state and the nation in general.
He also stated that the centre, which is a joint partnership between the state and Federal Government, when completed would not only place Nigerian youths on the global pedestal in terms of technology competitiveness but is expected to transform the state into a non oil economy.
On how to use the centre, the governor explained that users of the facility would comprise a new generation of Nigerians who would take advantage of its contribution to a revolution that will take the country to global level.
While commending Information Technology Development Entrepreneurship Acceleration, IDEA initiative, Governor Omoke underscored the need for private sector involvement, believing that it would drive the development of not only their products and services but the economy in general.
Also speaking, the Chairman, House committee on Information Communication Technology, ICT, Hon Nkoyo Toyo, said the centre would be a huge asset and major booster to the development of the nation, since its future depends on human resource based on ICT.
On his part, the Minister of ICT, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, represented by Dr. Asairy Daura, said the centre was aimed at creating job and empower youth, while Cross River established TKC as a vision of ICT in Africa and the world, and described the centre as a convergence of different visions.
Also speaking, the Secretary General Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, ISPON, Mr. Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, said the centre is designed to have a 250 seater capacity for different kinds of training, an incubator, industrial pavilion that will house about 25 companies, software engineering institute, and a software development Centre.
According to him, the second phase of the Centre with cutting–edge infrastructure which will be commissioned in three months is expected to roll out a 300 seater call Centre, data Centre, eight 2,400 seater training auditorium, digital library, software testing laboratory and virtual offices supported by hi-speed internet broad band and un-interupted power supply.
He assured that teachers at all level of institution of learning would be adequately trained in the programme to ensure knowledge drift to every community across the state with the provision of a lab top each to all teachers on completion of their training exercise to realize the vision of becoming an ICT hub.
The Special Adviser to governor, Mr. Odo Effiong, explained that the knowledge city when completed will help the country connect to businesses and also encourage software production and other related issues.
‘‘We need to create the culture of innovation because Innovation is problem solving. In problem solving in this case, mostly on software creation, we need to create a new way of doing things that will pave way for knowledge economy. We need to drive that change in collaboration with the ministry of education with Universal Monitory Fund.
‘‘The performance of that vision and the impact on the host community is what observers will be looking out for in the years to come,’’ he stated.