BOI, Old boys partner on software skills devt for young people in Ogun State
•Abiodun donates 100 computers to newly commission facility at Ijebu-Ode Grammar School
The Bank of Industry (BOI) and ljebu-Ode Grammar School Old Boys Association (JOGSOBA) have commissioned a 240-seat Information Communication Technology (ICT) complex to enhance IT and software skills development as well as learning capabilities for students of the school and surrounding schools in Ogun State.
The complex also has a 360-capacity cafeteria that provides kitchen services for boarding students, which would also be rented as an event centre for social activities within Ijebu-Ode, thus providing Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) inflow opportunities for the school.
Speaking at the commissioning of the complex in ljebu-Ode Grammar School, the Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, commended the project, which he said is part of the old boys contribution to ensure sustenance of the state’s role as the foremost education centre in the country.
He said the ICT centre aligns with the state government’s Technology hub project, noting that the state has since commenced its digital infrastructure project that will see the laying of 5, 000 kilometres fibre optic cable across the length and breadth of state.
Abiodun said the project prioritises hospitals, institutions of learning (second and tertiary) and markets, adding that it will allow students to continue to take advantage of high-speed internet as well as enable the state go into the digital space to provide the needed security.
The governor pledged to support the ICT facility with 100 computers, while enjoining other institutions’ old students to emulate this project as the government alone cannot do it.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Industry (BOI), Mr. Olukayode Pitan, said the complex serves triple purpose, which are to enhance educational and boarding facilities in the school, support ICT and software skills development for young people around Ijebu-Ode and enhance IGR inflow that will be used to keep the facilities in good shape.
He said the ICT centre will also serve as a Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB)/Computer Based Test (CBT) centre and software academy, among others, noting that the bank is not a stranger to the potentials of ICT and the opportunities it presents for the development of a nation’s economy.
Pitan said many of the country’s young IT-skilled professionals have emigrated to other countries to fill available job positions, yet there are more demands locally and globally for IT professionals.
According to him, market data and statistical estimates indicate that young people, particularly from primary and secondary schools, are early adopters of technology platforms and concepts in Nigeria and many countries.
“We therefore believe that facilities such as this can be positioned to help these young minds develop skills they can use to get remote jobs in a way that will enhance their socio-economic development. This will certainly take their attention away from social vices, onto productive causes,” he said.
He said the Bank is happy to support the complex, which is an initiative of the Old Boys Association of Ijebu-Ode Grammar School to complement governments’ efforts at revitalising educational facilities in Ogun State and in Nigeria.
According to Pitan who is also an old boy of the school, BOI funded the completion and equipping of the complex as part of its special Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme focused on supporting infrastructure projects as well as revitalising and establishing facilities in the areas of education, healthcare and environmental preservation, among others, at local communities in the country.
He said since the programme commenced in 2021, the Bank has sponsored the renovation, equipping and building of education and healthcare facilities in the following states such as Kebbi, Delta, Ogun, Katsina, Kaduna, and Anambra, while many other projects have been scheduled for implementation.
The National President, JOGSOBA, Prof. Lawson Olabosipo Adekoya, commended BOI for significantly funding the project, which was conceived in 2017, as well as the professional architectural, structural engineering, electrical and mechanical services, and quantity surveying for the project provided pro bono by the Old Boys.
He said the ICT centre in the school follows the Federal Government’s National Policy on ICT in Education, which recognised the need to reposition the education sector in the country to meet global standards and competitiveness.
Adekoya said the objectives of ICT in education include, facilitating teaching and learning processes; promoting problem-solving, critical thinking, innovative skills, life-long learning and advance knowledge; foster research and development; support effective and efficient education administration; enhance universal access to information as well as develop and support technical infrastructure that maximises digital creativity among others.
On his part, the Chairman, Anniversary Planning Committee, Kunle Bolujoko, said the I.C.T centre focuses on unified communications systems comprising of cellular phones/ wireless signals, computers, network hardware and software, and satellite system among others, to give students access to information and knowledge in the contemporary world.
He said this noble cause complements the Ogun State Government’s efforts in the development of secondary education in the state and Nigeria in general.