Government in Nigeria at all levels must invest in the development of Information and Communication Technology knowledge and skill, the Administrator of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde has canvassed.
Adinde, while speaking with Journalists in Abuja during the weekend, noted that investment in ICT skills is the only sure way Nigeria can optimally harness the possibilities and potential inherent in the deployment of infrastructure across the country.
“There are two ways to fund 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 talking 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,” he said.
He argued that the emphasis has been on funding of ICT hardware procurement in the past, leaving room for lack of capacity and skill set. He advised that 10 percent of the investments in USPF (universal service provision fund) across Africa should be partly channeled to ICT skills development.
Meaning, 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.
He also explained that training at the DBI 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,” Adinde disclosed.
Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), is Nigeria’s foremost ICT capacity building institute. The Institute is an arm of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).