If plans by the Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu sails through, the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) in Lagos and other cities would become multi-campus information and communications technology (ICT) university, dedicated to awarding technology degrees to Nigerians.
Adebayo, speaking in Lagos at the weekend, lamented that Nigeria does not have a dedicated institution for ICT awarding degrees.
“I want to advocate for one. It is the policy of this government to convert the Digital Bridge Institute into an ICT degree awarding institution, perhaps the first of its kind in Africa,” he said.
Today, the Digital Bridge Institute with head office in Abuja has campuses in Lagos and Kano. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) acquired the training schools of the defunct Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) and has invited billions of naira to refurbish the schools.
Adebayo said, “as we enter the 21st century, our challenge is to rapidly grow our telecoms industry as a way to emancipate our people economically. Our challenge is therefore, to come up with policies that will rapidly build Nigeria’s capacity to compete effectively with other economies.”
The minister said the ICT University is apt in that without a solid telecoms infrastructure, the country will not attract the needed local and foreign investment to build the economy.
With a population of over 170 million people and its economic potential, Nigeria still remains Africa’s most important market.
“We cannot tap the full potential of this market without a sound telecoms and information technology base. For the enterprise in today’s highly competitive world, the strategic components in developing and maintaining competitive edge are telecoms and information management. The expansion of our telecoms network will therefore accelerate development across the nation.”
Adebayo said telecoms and information technology, therefore, present copious opportunities for the creation of unprecedented wealth for the nation, adding that what is required is the political will to create the right environment for investment in this sector. “Africa is looking up to Nigeria to take advantage of its vast human and material resources and become the catalyst for economic emancipation of other continents,” the minister said.
He said emphasis and global relevance in today’s 21st Century world had 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.