Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communication, has said that no Nigerian child should graduate from secondary school without knowledge of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Adebayo said this at the opening ceremony of the Federal Science and Technical College Yaba Model United Nations maiden conference in Lagos.
The event, which was in conjunction with the United Nation Information Centre, has the theme: Communicating the Future through Information Technology for Senior Secondary Students.
According to the minister, ICT remains a life propeller, the future of businesses and governments.
He said there was therefore the need to make ICT an addition to the training being given to the children.
“Otherwise, Nigerians may end up having people who brandish only certificates but are hardly equipped for the demands of the job market.
“Coming here today has been an eye opener for me in the versatility of the staff and students, as well as the level of facilities, in terms of the laboratories, equipment, ICT facilities and workshops etc.
“If I have my way, I will use this institution as a standard for all secondary schools in Nigeria.
“Nigeria with a population of 180 million people, most of who are youths, deserves not just theoretical education because there are simply no job places for theories and people who cannot use their hands to work.
“With a population of 180 million, the job places available for all governments, whether Federal or State or Local government, are not up to five million.
“If we have less than five million job places in governments, it means that the bulk is in the hands of the private sector.
“The private sector want to be productive for every kobo they are spending and so, they would want something much more than that and that means that they would need more of skilled personnel ,’’ he said.
Shittu explained that if the country continue to produce people who could not use their hands, innovate and create, it would continue to create armies of unemployed graduates in the country.
“So I have gone round, seen their facilities and I am impressed that these facilities exist in a government institution.
“More often than not, you will find a lot of parents preferring that their children and wards attend private schools because facilities are believed to be better there.
“But with what I have seen here, I do not think any private institution can have the sort of resources and equipment and facilities as the type found here.
“So I am impressed and would take my impression to the Federal Executive Council for members to appreciate that in this institution Nigeria has for once gotten it right, it is not enough to be complacent.
“What is here must be replicated in all other unity schools as starting point and then hopefully, state governments would try to take a cue from here,’’ he said.
The minister urged the management of the institution to seek means of commercialising the recently inaugurated UNITes CISCO Internet of Things (IoT) centre in order to generate funds for its sustainability.