Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The acting Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Vincent Olatunji has unveiled a virtual e-library infrastructure for Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, designed to boost teaching and research in the school.
According to Olatunji, the Ekiti State Varsity virtual e-library facility, which is the largest of all the e-libraries donated by NITDA to universities and schools in the past, contains over 80 million online materials to facilitate research, training and learning by teachers and the students.
Speaking at the official presentation of the e-library in Ado-Ekiti, Olatunji told the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Sam Oye Bandele, the students and staff at the university that the outcome of the university’s research materials must be uploaded online for Nigerians and the world to benefit.
While noting that technology has succeeded in shrinking the world into a global village, Olatunji said research and education for development cannot be actualised without the application of ICT tools like e-libraries.
The NITDA boss urged the university to ensure adequate and proper maintenance of the facilities, adding: “In deploying these facilities across Nigerian Universities and communities, we have felt challenged in the area of sustainability. NITDA has provided bandwidth and Internet for one year to run the e-library, but what is most important, is sustainability of the project and if this is not done, it will defeat the whole essence of NITDA’s initiative.”
I want to implore the University management to deplore adequate security and regular maintenance. I’m happy that the VC of the University who is a Computer Scientist, knows what to do because if a cables are removed for one reason or the other, then it is like indirectly cannibalising what the agency is doing, Olatunji added.
He said Nigerian universities are ranked low because of their lack of access to research and learning materials online, adding that the platform will address that deficit.
According to him, “Today the world is a global village and therefore we expect that education has to be same all over the globe and this can only be done with ICT, this virtual e-library infrastructure should provide access in terms of electronic materials for research, training and education.”
The university Vice Chancellor, while appreciating the efforts of NITDA in the deployment of ICT infrastructure, expressed optimism that the facilities would change the learning and teaching architecture of the university for good.
With the virtual library, he said, Ekiti State University, would move further by joining other top ranking universities in the world to compete in research and learning, adding that the facilities will be properly maintained and sustained for the development of Nigeria.