By Angela Nkwocha
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has signed pact with Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to improve the quality of education in Nigeria through ICT, to assist Nigerian tertiary institutions with access to emerging technologies.
The out going Director-General and Minister designate of NITDA, Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami, made the announcement recently during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two parties.
He stated that although most tertiary institutions in the country already use information and communication technology in their activities, there is a need to be on par with global institutions leveraging emerging technologies.
“So many schools in Nigeria do not have old records of their activities and when past students misplace results or certificates, they only engage in swearing court affidavits. However, with blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, and other forms of modern-day technology, schools can digitise their activities, thus save cost and energy and ensure efficiency. Our universities are becoming highly populated, but with IT, we can make easier the learning process which will decongest the classrooms,” he said.
He averred that though NITDA is mandated to implement, develop, and regulate the country’s IT policy through standards and guidelines, the agency couldn’t fulfil its mandate on its own. Hence, the partnership with the education trust fund is considered both strategic and important in the implementation of this new proposition.
He therefore called for the adoption of Blockchain Technology in all Nigerian Tertiary Institutions, insisting that the technology can alleviate most of the challenges faced, as data integrity was 100% guaranteed, adding that emerging technologies if well adopted will place Nigeria at par with rest of the world.
On his part, the Executive Secretary, TETFUND, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, said emerging technologies have become indispensable in global economy that their provision as the most important activities of digital inclusion will enhanced learning and encourage creativity and, innovation in tertiary intuitions.
He expressed hope that the MoU will not only bring efficiency in public institutions but will go a long way in checking plagiarism in various institutions across the country.
The MOU is made up eight (8) areas of cooperation which is hope to also address various challenges facing Nigeria towards effective ICT adoption. They as follows : IT infrastructure and development in tertiary institutions; Human capacity development in tertiary institutions; Development of emerging technologies in tertiary institutions; Digitalisation of services in tertiary institutions; Project management in tertiary institutions; IT academy deployment in tertiary institutions; ICT policy development in tertiary institutions and Emerging technologies and deepening of research and development in tertiary institutions.