The Federal Government, in collaboration with World Bank, is establishing 12 information communication technology (ICT) innovation hubs across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria.
The proposed Information communication technology innovation hubs are to provide ICT solutions peculiar to the challenges and needs of each zone in the country.
[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]Under the plan, 12 Information communication technology innovation hubs will also be established around the cluster of tertiary institutions and the private sectors to bridge the need gap that exist between the industry and academics, the NITDA chief said.[/quote]This was part of the agreement in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Growth and Employment in States (GEMS), a World Bank subsidiary, at a meeting held at NITDA headquarters Abuja, that largely focused on the development of ICT skills among Nigerians.
While signing the MoU, Dr Vincent Olatunj, acting Director-General, NITDA said the innovation hubs will serve the local ICT ecosystem where ideas will be incubated and nurtured to the point of commercialisation.
Under the plan, 12 Information communication technology innovation hubs will also be established around the cluster of tertiary institutions and the private sectors to bridge the need gap that exist between the industry and academics, the NITDA chief said.
The agreement will include the rights and obligations for both parties in implementing GEMS Programmes that will cover areas such as Software testing, Professional Certification Programs, Software Application, e-Commerce mobile Application, Business Process Outsourcing among others.
The acting DG of NITAD, the IT implementing agency of the Federal Government also briefed the World Bank team on the political will of the present administration to successfully implement the technology programme.
According to Olatunji, government is looking at diversifying the economy and ICT has been identified as one sector which Nigeria can tap into. In pursing this will, the Hon. Minister who is supervised by the Office of the Vice Pesident is committed to ensure that ICT drives the economy, he told the World Bank team.
The lead delegate of the World Bank team, Mr. Andrew Gartside stressed on the need to sustain these programmes noting that, “due to the dynamic nature of ICT, especially the software sub-sector, both parties should ensure the sustainability of these programmes.”
According to him, both parties should, develop a good sustainability model that will be adopted, and that the project should lead to job and wealth creation.
Gartside beleives that the programme would add value to what NITDA is currently doing in the area of human capacity development.