FG To Establish ICT University In 2017

The Federal Government has said plans are underway to establish a university of Information and Communications Technology in 2017.

The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, said this at a workshop organised by the Nigeria Computer Society in Abuja on Friday.

Shittu, who lamented that graduates of computer science in the country lacked skills to fit into the ICT industry, said many of them were unemployable.

The minister said the university would bridge the gap.

He said, “The need to have an ICT academy was brought up by one of the speakers, but what the government is proposing is more than setting up an academy. We have had a government ICT institute, which has six campuses in the country.

“The institute undertakes short-term courses, but we discovered that the facilities in the institute were being under-utilised. Therefore, there are plans on the way to transform it into a university.”

He added, “The ICT university will dedicate itself to hands-on trainings. I have discovered that many graduates of computer science are hardly fit or skilled enough for the ICT industry in Nigeria. Therefore, we want to have a university of ICT, where the private sector will play a key role in managing the syllabuses, so that we can have skilled work force.

“This will enable us to have skilled manpower, not only for the ICT industry in Nigeria, but for the exports of these ICT services to different parts of Africa. We are already formulating processes that will lead to the establishment of this university. The university will take off in the first quarter of 2017.”

The minister added that corruption was a major reason for the rising rate of youth unemployment in the country, adding that the government would fight the menace to a standstill.

He said, “On graduates without jobs in the country, every sector of the Nigerian polity is having this problem. This is so because there is a dislocation in the polity. The issue of corruption is a major problem. Corruption is a cankerworm, which is destroying the entire system. This is why the government is striving to fight corruption to a standstill.

“It is part of corruption that when there are software and hardware produced by Nigerians, our people are hardly willing to patronise these products. This is why the government wants to have a local content policy to drive the patronage of things produced in Nigeria.”