Minister Commends TechPlus Initiative, Harps on ICT Varsities

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Emma Okonji

The initiative of the 2017 edition of West Africa’s largest annual technology conference and exhibition, TechPlus, has been commended by the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, who insisted that the private sector must be at the forefront to drive technology innovation in the country.

Shittu, who gave the commendation while declaring TechPlus 2017 open in Lagos, also used the occasion to assure Nigerians of government’s plan to invest in six ICT Universities in the country that would further spur technology development through ICT skills development.

The three-day event, which ran from July 6-8 and witnessed the assemblage of leading experts in technology from different parts of the world coming under one roof to share insights in different areas of tech business, innovation, information and communications technology.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the minister commended the organisers for the initiative that has been consistent for three years.

He also lauded the efforts of TechPlus in providing a robust platform that allows companies, individuals and businesses in the tech space to bring together customers, clients, and stakeholders to showcase their products and services.

The minister also applauded the robust conference package that is meant to create practical opportunities for stakeholders present to talk about technology and feel the impact that technology has on different facets of life, both from business and consumer perspectives.

Shittu used the opportunity to further highlight the objectives of the six new ICT Universities established by the federal government. He explained that the universities, which will start operations in September this year, would focus on adding value to the current level and pace of economic development in Nigeria, diversifying our economy and positioning Nigeria as the leading ICT light in Africa.

He noted that the era of university graduates roaming the streets, looking for work after graduation would soon be over.

“The ICT University will be the first of its kind in Africa. It will compete with similar institutions in India and South Korea. It will be the first of its kind in Public-Private sector partnership and private bodies, institutions and organisations would be invited to adopt and take ownership of various departments and campuses and bring in all that is needed to create the desired ICT revolution in the country,” the minister said.

In his welcome speech, the General Manager of TechPlus, TaiwoOyewole, said: “Over the past editions, TechPlus has become many things to different people. A place to learn, get the pulse of the market in the tech ecosystem, meet like minds, network, play games and of course also have fun.”