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‘I.T will reduce unemployment market drastically’


Technology. Photo: Odd Hill

Mr. Adedokun Oduyemi is the Managing Director Forte Systems limited, master franchise partners to Nigerian Institute of Information Technology in Nigeria. He doubles as the head of the institute in Nigeria. Recently, over 85, 000 students sat for the aptitude tests, to get an opportunity for the part-sponsored NIIT programme. Oduyemi spoke to IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA on the relevance of acquiring IT skills in today’s workplace among other issues.

What courses are available in NIIT’s programme?

Our courses are top of the range and industry in demand; we offer courses that are relevant to the workplace.

We have about 15 new courses available this year including data analysis, big data, and machine learning intelligence, Dev-ops and android level programming.

The idea is to keep the Nigerian market relevant to the international market, to keep our workforce in this country relevant with the right tools to face the work environment for tomorrow.

Data analysis is essential for everything you do as an enterprise and it allows organisations gain relevance.

What are the contributions of I.T in Nigeria?

We talk about unemployment rate and entrepreneurship and I think I.T encompasses it.

I believe I.T can change Nigeria. Look at the industrial revolution that has taken place in India, China, the platform is IT.

The amount of investment you need to become an IT specialist is a lot less than what you need to become anything else.

To build a factory is more expensive that to be an I.T entrepreneur; all you need is the knowledge and a laptop.

This is a way to reduce the unemployment market drastically.

The only way we can start dealing with our issues is by creating small businesses, giving relevant skills to people to take up jobs and making the workforce more efficient.

So I believe I.T have more abilities especially in an environment where human potential is almost unlimited at well.

What are the challenges of I.T in Nigeria and how does NIIT bridge these gaps?

A lot of the challenges have to do with availability of knowledge; programmes in sciences and technology available in primary and secondary schools and this will take time to fix.

The India programme started in the 80s and it took almost 20 years for India to get to where it is to become the most important I.T countries in the world.

Getting the relevant knowledge is limited; we are not many in the market that can give you training on things like artificial intelligence and data analysis, these are things that NIIT strive to make available.

We are building partnership with institution and schools so that we can ensure that we are catching them young.

So from primary/ secondary schools they start to learn about IT, you don’t need to graduate from the university and start looking for centers to learn IT again.

I believe that Nigeria’s potential is almost unlimited especially the human capital development and as long as we are focused on that, challenges are just obstacles.

So far how many students have graduated from NIIT’s programmes?

On the average NIIT graduate about 40, 000 students; we have been in Nigeria for 20 years and everywhere I go, once I have my NIIT T-shirt on, I always meet somebody.

The joy for us is in the difference we are bringing to change the work force.

I have a student that joined CBN and one of the reasons he was employed was because he was the only one that had done Oracle Eleven9 training out of all the shortlisted candidates. If it’s in terms of effect, I see it everywhere.

How many centers do you have?

We have five centers here in Lagos and the locations include; Surulere, Ikeja, Ajah, Festac and Ikorodu.

And there’s also an online exam for those who are unable to make it to the center. We have about 70 centers outside Lagos.

Last year we had over 80, 000 student who wrote the exam but this year we are expecting more because there’s hunger for I.T knowledge and we will continue to try and create more spaces

How would you access the level of student’s performance?

The entry exam is basically a general knowledge exam; it’s not a technology exam but more about your IQ.

Nigeria is unlimited, I see all the time; the human capital potential we have is unlimited, the scores we see sometimes is amazing and the reason for this exam is because there’s limited space.

On the average we take about 3, 000 people per year through the scholarship programme nationwide.

Any collaboration with the government?

We work with the government all the time and we are going to continue working with them.

We have been working with the ministry of Science and Technology for almost 10 years, we have partnered with the Lagos state government and have trained different arms; like the Customs, Revenue service and Nigerian army etc. We are current talking to the government about a curriculum shift for the primary and secondary school levels but we are not reliant on the government.

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