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DBI Boss Wants Government to Invest in ICT Skills

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Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, administrator of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI)

Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, administrator of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), Nigeria’s foremost ICT capacity building institute, has canvassed more investment by governments at all levels in the development of ICT knowledge and skill. The Institute is an arm of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

 

This, he said, is the only way the country will maximize its investments in ICT infrastructure. He disclosed this during a brief engagement with journalists in Abuja at the weekend.

 

According to Adinde, without concomitant investment in skills and training, the nation cannot optimally harness the possibilities and potential inherent in the deployment of infrastructure across the country.

 

He said emphasis has been on funding of ICT hardware procurement, stressing that the time has come for a paradigm shift in which ICT funding should be spread across hardware, software and skills acquisition (training).

 

“There are two ways to funding ICT: infrastructure side and soft side (skills and knowledge). On the hard side which is the infrastructure side, it is easy to perceive the investment that is being made and often times that’s what the government talks about (buying computers, equipment, installing gadgets etc.), but the most important part is the skills and the knowledge that people need to harness the potential in those hardware investments.

 

“We had made a case sometime in 2016 at the capacity building symposium organised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that the investments in USPF (universal service provision fund) across Africa instead of being channelled wholly and exclusively to ICT infrastructure should be dedicated to ICT skills development, in that if someone is investing $10million in ICT infrastructure, 10 per cent of the money should go for ICT skills development especially targeted at the youths now commonly called the millennials.

 

“They are the ones who will use the infrastructure to innovate, create and develop the things that will make the future happen, but as long as we don’t make that investment then it means that you’ll put a piece of ICT equipment in an office and nobody is using it because the skills are not there”, he said.

 

He explained it using a telephone. “A typical phone, for example, can do a lot for us but because the knowledge of the use of the phone is not available, meanwhile we’ve invested a lot of money buying this device, we limit ourselves to just making calls and sending text messages”.

 

According to him, there’s a critical need to invest in building ICT capacity for the young people and that’s why “DBI continues to innovate programmes that target the young people so that we fulfil our mandate in that area”.

 

He explained that their training focuses on both young persons and those who are advanced in age but wish to upscale their ICT skills.

 

“We have young people who have just finished from secondary school and are looking to pursue a career in ICT. They join our National Innovation Diploma programme, which is a two-year programme (Telecommunications Technology, Multimedia Technology, Networking and Systems Security and Computer Hardware and Software Engineering), after which they can move on or if they want to continue at a higher level they can pursue a degree in higher institutions”.

 

On the NID programme, he said: “We have people with degrees who come into the programme because the course is practical based, where the students are mostly in the lab. We have computer science graduates who are currently taking this programme (in Lagos and in Kano). The reason they’re in the programme is because they want to get hands-on experience from our labs and workshops. We also have professors, PhD holders and those in the public sectors with us; our programmes attract participants from across a wide range of the market”.

 

 

 

 

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Nigeria, Korea Strengthen Relations to Advance Science & Technology

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The Peoples Republic of Korea yesterday reiterated its commitment to strengthening collaboration with Nigeria in advancing science and technology.

The Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Jon Choi, said this when he visited the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, in Abuja.

Choi said that the essence of sustaining the long existing cooperation between the two countries was to achieve common growth and development in science and technology.

He noted that science and technology is a critical sector in the development of a nation, adding that strengthening the cooperation would enable the two countries to maximise the potential in the sector.

“We, in Korea, are passionate about the people of Nigeria and eager to further our relationship in the area of science and technology.

“We have common interest in developing relations in science and technology because it is a key sector that drives the development of a country.

“In modern world, science and technology is a key index showing the level of development of a country.

“So, we must explore ways to collaborate in pushing ahead science and technology.”

The ambassador emphasized that Korea was able to advance development in spite of sanctions because the country placed priority in developing science and technology.

In his response, Onu said that Nigeria was committed to using science, technology and innovation to utilize more efficiently the enormous resources in the country.

According to the Minister, science, technology and innovations are central to the development of Nigeria.

“And this ministry occupies a central place in re-directing our economy from commodity-based to one based on knowledge.

“This collaboration is very critical because we want to fight and defeat extreme poverty in Nigeria.

“We want to use science, technology and innovations to create jobs and in turn our Gross domestic Product will continue to grow,” Onu said.

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HMD Global Partners with Techpoint Inspired 2018

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As part of efforts to encourage technological innovation and motivate tech startups in Nigeria, HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, have thrown their weight behind the 2018 annual Techpoint Inspired conference; billed for 29th of May, 2018 at Pistis Conference Centre, Lekki/Epe Expressway, Lagos.

Themed, “The Future is now” this year’s event which provides a unique platform for business opportunities and relationship building, is set to assemble industry leaders, founders of tech enabled businesses, startups, tech lovers, and other stakeholders, to explore tech trends that will shape the country’s future.

Olumide Balogun, Head of Marketing at HMD Global West Africa, posits that Nigeria is quick to embrace evolving technology, with the Techpoint Inspired 2018 being able to gather over 5,000 tech enthusiasts a clear evidence of this fact.

“Technology is an enabler that has become the bedrock of the economy and lifestyle across the world, Nigeria being no exception. At HMD Global, we are convinced that technology can enhance the lives of billions of people around the world, which is why we are delighted to be part of a movement such as Techpoint Inspired.

Moves like this will help open new frontiers of innovations to move Nigeria into a new level of technology quest,” Balogun says.

The 2018 edition of the Techpoint Inspired conference will feature various presentations and panel sessions, on which Balogun will be speaking alongside, Gbenga Adegbiji, General Manager, MDX-I, MainOne; Amina Sambo-Magaji, National Coordinator, OIIE; Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative; and Adedeji Olowe, Co-Founder, Open Banking, on “Solving Infrastructure Challenges for Innovation in Nigeria”. The panel discussion will examine the country’s infrastructural gap, how consumers are affected by the challenges and how they can be solved.

The event will feature other discussions such as: The future of work in Nigeria; The consumer, the bank and Fintech; Policy Framework towards sustainable local technology; as well as presentations made by leaders in the industry.

According to the CEO and Founder of Techpint.ng, Adewale Yusuf, the theme of this year’s Techpoint conference, stems out of the fact that we are entering an era where technology would be the backbone of our society. His words, “The future is here. We are on a mission to understand why new technologies such as Blockchain, IoT, Robotics, etc, would matter in the future.”

While expressing gratitude to the sponsors of this year’s event, Yusuf assured that Techpoint will continue to drive its agenda of connecting people to the transformative power of technology, especially as it affects everyday living.

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Mydrim Art Gallery Announces Master’s Exhibition to Celebrate 25th Anniversary

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One of Nigeria’s oldest galleries, Mydrim Gallery has announced that it will host a Masters’ art exhibition.

The Exhibition, which is set to take place on the 3rd to 4th of June at the Desiderata in Banana Island, marks Mydrim Gallery’s 25th anniversary.

From its creation, the objective of the gallery was to rectify the way that the art profession was regarded at that time.

Art was not considered a noble profession and society did not accord much importance to the artists or their works.

Mydrim over the years has persistently worked to correct that anomaly and create a platform for educating Nigerians about the importance and value of art.

Speaking at the press conference was the gallery’s founder Mrs Sinmidele Adesanya, who explained the importance of an exhibition such as this by relating to the Nigerian proverb that says “A river that does not know its source will soon run dry.

“This exhibition will exhibit twelve Masters such that art lovers, artists and art students know the “source” of contemporary art today.

These are some of the artists who steered the course and remained committed and focused to developing the visual arts in Nigeria in the face of monumental challenges.

To become a Master takes a lifetime of practice and perfecting as well as having influence in the form of mentoring and teaching.

Not only that but these artists also create emblems of Nigerian society at large and add depths to the culture. These artists have the clout that is not born in a day.

Young artists today need to know the history of those who paved the way for them. The masters in this exhibition have not only created an extensive body of work but they have also changed the ideology of what it is to be an artist, and African at that.

They have brought world renown to Nigerian art and have broken away from Western training in artistic techniques; namely, to exemplify, Bruce Onobrakpeya and Yusuf Grillo brought reform to early Nigerian art in their school days by forming the Zaria Art Society which rebelled against Western techniques.

All of the Masters in this exhibition have dedicated their lives to serving the arts and have extensively studied, researched and honed their talent.

Most of these artists are matured in age so Mydrim wishes to celebrate them in their lifetime. Mydrim is the perfect gallery to commemorate these greats since Mydrim has been a part of all of their journeys in some shape or form. We owe it to them to give them the accolades they deserve.

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