Minister canvasses ICT hubs in Nigerian varsities
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim, has stressed the need to establish Information Communication Technology (ICT) hubs in Nigerian universities across the country.
Delivering a lecture, themed, “Datafication of Society,” during the 29th Convocation of Federal University of Minna, Niger State, at the weekend, said adoption of 21st century technology in an emerging economy is the clamour for a developing nation.
He said: “In developing best strategies to meet present digital demand, establishing ICT hubs across campuses where students with crazy ideas will go and work on their start-up, and if recommended, the government is keen to support and ensure such an individual is redeployed where applicable.”
The Minister said the topic is apt, and as such, should be treated with very humorous sense to align to the 21st century technological innovation, thereby defining data as oil and its refining as “datafication”, and as an ingredient for powering a digital economy.
Relying on the World Economic Forum prediction that over 60% of the global GDP will be digitalised by 2022, and over the next decades, he said: “It’s obvious that most nations are prioritising the need to develop economies because of the multiplier effects this can have on all other sectors of the economy. In a bid to achieve this, the Ministry have been mandated to give laws and ensure compliance by service providers.”
Ibrahim noted that Nigeria is now at a stage where wealth is measured by digital resources and the innovation of Nigerians, adding that “this administration is committed to encouraging and harnessing the digital minerals of our time.”
“Oil is used in an industrial economy while data is used in a digital economy,” he said, citing Japan, Korea, United States and most Western countries, as economies that have tapped into the digital operation.
“The amount of data generated and used in a day between 2003 and 2020 is more than that of 600 years ago.”
He expressed that a lot have been put in place to ensure that Nigeria occupies her space in the technological sphere.
The Minster stressed the need for students to master skills in academic pursuit, as “educational qualification without skills is misleading.”
He urged lecturers to see to it that there is proper follow up on students who are on industrial training to get required skills and practice.
“The service infrastructure pillars will support to create a robust platform upon which data can be presented to a wider audience. Hence, the indigenous content promotion and adoption pillar will ensure we promote our local data solutions and give preference to keeping our local data,” he said.
Furthermore, given the prevailing challenges in Nigeria, he said: “We are developing and implementing policies, standards, guidelines and frameworks that will enable us enjoy the prospects of datafication, while also protecting ourselves against perils.”
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