By Emma Okonji
Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has said that his administration would provide scholarship to 100 youths to study at the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), located in the state. The essence of the scholarship is to bridge the gap in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the state.
The governor, who gave the assurance at the maiden matriculation ceremony for theÂ National Innovation Diploma programmeÂ of the DBI, specifically said that 60 males and 40 females would be the initial beneficiaries of the scholarship.
Ganduje was full of praises for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), led by its Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, for considering Kano one of the centres for the programme.
The initiative of the NCC led by Danbatta resulting in the approval by National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to make DBI, Kano Campus as an Innovation Enterprise Institute was highly commendable. Â The State, the governor said will take advantage of the opportunity as part of efforts to promote ICT diffusion in the state, especially in the rural areas across the 44 Local Councils.
Emir of Kano, Muhammed Sanusi II, spoke in a similar way but appealed to the EVC and governments at all levels to ensure that there is sufficient investment in ICT infrastructure to promote access to ICT by the youths at the grassroots.
The Emir said: â€œThere is no point getting a Diploma in ICT if the only place you can operate is in the city centre. We need to have more people in the rural areas, who can provide ICT services to the rural dwellers to achieve effective results.
“If the present administration is ready to achieve its change mantra, then there is need to also create the enabling environment for ICT investors to come to the rural area because with the way things are going, the government and the informal sector cannot provide jobs for the population of about 170 million Nigerians but with the ICT field it is possibleâ€, he added.
Danbatta said the matriculation of the 24 students into five specialised ICT of the Diploma programme, was part of NCCâ€™s efforts to promote the adoption and use of ICT for national development.
The NCC boss listed the specialised areas of the Diploma programme to include software engineering, computer hardware engineering, networking and security, telecommunications and multimedia technology as approved by the NBTE.
He said the programme was designed to offer a rich blend of the theoretical knowledge and practice skills to combine classroom work with intensive laboratory and workshop modules which will prepare and equip them for direct entry into related fields of any university in the country.
According to him, â€œNigeria is in dire need of ICT skills to solve the myriad of problems facing her agriculture, health, education, security, power and other sectors, and this is the only way the country can become a mainstream player in the new digital ageâ€.
Danbatta further said that the matriculation was in furtherance of NCC’s mandate to equip Nigerians in different fields of ICT, to which the institute was granted approval as an innovative enterprise institute by the Federal Ministry of Education and the NBTE in 2016 to award National Innovation Diploma and these are the first set of students being matriculated for the 2016/2017 academic calendar.â€
He urged the matriculating students to embrace the opportunity of obtaining a certificate in National Innovation Diploma programme seriously as they would be equipped with the required ICT knowledge and skills to perform optimally with their counterparts in other parts of the world.
Administrator of DBI, Dr. Ike Adinde said, the Institute recorded milestones in the last two years with the support of Danbatta.