By Ugo Aliogo and Peter Uzoh
A former Minister of Petroleum and Chairman of Data Science Nigeria Limited, Chief Don Etiebet, has stated that establishment of technology parks in the country would play a key role in accelerating growth in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, calling on the federal government to intensify efforts in that regard.
Etiebet made the call at the 39th Leadership Tribute Colloquium organised by the Centre for Leadership in Values (CVL) in his honour on the occasion of his 73rd birthday. The theme of colloquium was: ‘The Evolution of ICT and the Speed of Change in Nigeria’s Economic Space.’
He said that ICT is a tool that people should gain mastery of in order to carry out their tasks effectively, pointing out that it is very important to develop the proper training to get users familiar with the basics such as coding.
Etiebet explained that in software development, the challenge facing the sector is coding, urging the government to develop the minds of youths in computer coding.
Furthermore, he said that if the youths are able to make breakthrough in coding, they would be able to translate the indigenous languages to computer languages.
Etiebet maintained that the business environment should be structured in a way that would allow civil servants to contribute to the growth of the sector.
He added: “The education curriculum should be revised again to include compulsory training in mathematics. Individuals must be ready to invest in intelligent youths. We should introduce venture capitalism to Nigeria to encourage people. This is a process where individual comes up with an idea and he gives it to an investor to fund it, then the originator of the idea manages it and the proceeds from the investments are shared in an agreed ratio.”
In her remarks, the Provost, College of Fellows, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Prof. Adenike Osofisan, said that the country must go back to the basics if it truly wants to revolutionalise ICT and tap into the potentials of the sector benefits, suggesting that, children from their young ages should be exposed to IT practical.
She said: “For me I think if we truly want to use ICT to revolutionalise Nigeria we must start from the basics which is the kindergarten school. We must begin to train our children in the act of programming because it’s all about artificial intelligent. We must train youths to contribute their quota in the ICT sector. Government needs to emulate the example of US in developing the sector especially investing in the education of ICT.”