The Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, said on Thursday that the plan to establish a University of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Nigeria was aimed at equipping Nigerians with the best skills.
Shittu told newsmen in Abuja that facilities at the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) would be utilised to achieve this objective.
“We feel that we can ultimately utilise the facilities of NITDA by transforming it into an ICT University, which will be the first of its kind in Africa.
“We are also engaging the private sector to collaborate with us in this venture; the Nigerian government is not going to spend huge amounts in running that place.
“The ministry will be inviting companies like Motorola, Facebook and all the big companies to come and adopt campuses; by so doing, they will bring their money, technology and skills.
“Nigerians will, therefore, be equipped with the best skills to look for jobs all over the world.’’
Shittu said that the ministry decided to take this step in order to stop the trend of Nigerians having to travel to India, Pakistan, Malaysia and Western Europe to acquire high level ICT training.
He added that if a country like South Korea which has expertise in e-governance could adopt a campus at the university, the capacity of Nigerians who would be trained there would be strengthened.
“If we have Korean telecoms companies coming to adopt one of our campuses, that will strengthen us instead of going to South Korea.
“We can have all the training and the number of people who will have the training locally will certainly be more than those who will have opportunities of going abroad to train.
“So, we feel that the ICT University is one of the big legacies that this government wants to give to Nigerians by adding value to computer science education,” the minister said.
He had said at a workshop organised for secondary school students in the FCT in 2016 that the establishment of the institution would bridge the ICT skill gap in the country