A gubernatorial aspirant in Oyo State, Prof. Adeolu Akande, has described President Muhamadu Buhari as the Nigerian President who has had the most impactful tenure on Information and Communication Technology penetration in the country.
Akande said the initiatives of President Buhari will put the country in a very strong footing to earn enormous revenue from the ICT sector, provide jobs for millions of youths and create wealth for Nigerians.
Akande was addressing members of youth organisations from across Oyo State who visited him in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to counsel him against joining the ADC as a platform for his gubernatorial ambition.
Akande who is the Chairman of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) said President Buhari had supported the agency to record tremendous achievements in the area of ICT development.
He said no President in the history of Nigeria has been as supportive of NITDA and ICT development as President Buhari.
He thanked the visiting youths for their counsel on the choice of platform and said consultations were on-going on the issue, assuring them that the decision will be taken collectively by stakeholders who view political parties as platforms for development.
Akande said politics is about service to the people rather than personal aggrandisement and that that this evident in the achievements of President Buhari in the ICT sector.
He listed some of the initiatives of President Buhari in the sector to include the presidential approval for NITDA as the clearing house of Federal Government ICT projects which has enhanced quality in service delivery and value for money and the National Agriculture e-project which is a collaboration between NITDA and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to make various datasets of the Nigerian Agriculture sector readily available to stakeholders.
He also listed the provision of virtual library in tertiary institutions to enhance research and make Nigerian institutions competitive in research and development.
Akande revealed that the facility is currently been installed at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Oyo State.
“NITDA also provides basic ICT facilities and internet connectivity primarily to schools and similar environments where teaching and learning take place. This involves the deployment of a network of internet connectivity, computing devices and related ICT Infrastructure including alternative solar power energy in the school community capable of giving uninterrupted access to Internet services.
“Already, 77 schools have been provided with the facility. Another 85 schools have been provided with Digital Capacity Building Centres across the country”, he said.
Akande disclosed that seven (7) universities have also been provided with wireless Wide Area Network (WAN) under NITDA’S Campus Wireless Wide Area Network Programme. “This is a special intervention project targeted at tertiary institutions which involves the establishment of a fully functional campus wireless network connectivity that provides campus-wide Internet Services”.
Prof Akande who teaches Political Science at the Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State said thousands of youths have been trained under numerous initiatives of NITDA like Youth Empowerment Training in Web Technology and Open Source Software; Training of Youths with Disabilities; CEET Awareness and Cyber Drills; Training on Online Outsourcing; Coding Talent Haunt for Children; Training on Sustainable Entrepreneurship in ICT; ICT Training for Unemployed Graduates; and a scholarship scheme through which youths are trained locally and overseas for post-graduate programmes in ICT.
Akande disclosed that NITDA will soon be hosting a two-month Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) training programme for 200 IT savvy youths on web and mobile applications development, IT entrepreneurship, effective application of IT to solve social challenges, among others, in Ibadan, Oyo State.
He thanked the visiting youths for their counsel on the choice of platform and said consultations are on-going to take a position on the issue, assuring them that the decision will be taken collectively by stakeholders who view political parties as platform for development rather than instruments of fighting personal wars.