By Blessing Okoroafor
The Administrator of Digital Bridge Institute (DBI),Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, has challenged respective Information and Communications Technology, ICT, policy makers and major decision makers in respective private and public ICT establishments in the country, to think more of improving knowledge and skills in the sector.
He said, the only way the country will maximize its investments in ICT infrastructure is by matching it with investments in knowledge and skills.
In a brief chat with journalists in Abuja, recently, Adinde argued that without adequate investment in skills and training, the country may not partake in the benefits of infrastructure deployment across the country.
He said the country has emphasized much on funding ICT hardware procurement and should now consolidate on that investment with commensurate investment in hardware, software and ICT skills acquisition among others.
He said: “There are two ways to funding ICT: Investment in ICT infrastructure and investment in skills and knowledge. Most often government dwells on the investment that can easily be seen like buying computers, equipment, installing gadgets, among others, but neglecting the important part, which is the skills and the knowledge aspect. At least, no matter the investment in physical infrastructure, you still need people to harness the potential of those hardware investments.
“We made a case sometime in 2016 at the capacity building symposium organised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that the investments in universal service provision fund, USPF across Africa, should be dedicated to ICT skills development, instead of being channeled wholly and exclusively to ICT infrastructure. The reason we made the case was because the modern way of developing with technology is where about $10million is invested in ICT infrastructure, 10 per cent of the money should go for ICT skills. That 10 percent would be targeted at the youths now commonly called the millennials.
“They are the ones who will use the infrastructure to innovate, create and develop the things that will make the future happen, but as long as we don’t make that investment, we will only be putting pieces of ICT equipment in offices without people with skills to use them appropriately” he added.