In a bid to foster rapid revolution, innovation, industrial growth, and sustainable development, the federal government is to facilitate greater linkages between the academia, stakeholders in the ICT sector and the international Telecommunication Union (ITU).
The Minister of Communications, Dr. Adebayo Shittu, made the disclosure while addressing participants at the international conference on Information Technology in Education and Development (ITED-2019) in Abuja, recently.
According to the minister, “We count on the continued engagements of the private sector and interest groups of ICT professionals to support the economic policies of this administration. Our destiny with regards to national development, is in our own hands as ICT professionals.”
Shittu, who was represented by the Technical Assistant to the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Patricks Oghuma, maintained that the Ministry of Communications would ensure that Nigeria continues its good work within the ITU and also ensure that her interests in relation to the national ICT policy was protected and enhanced, which explains why it has identified the need to collaborate with the academia in the area of research and national development.
He charged the academia to undertake focused research, targeted at solving specific problems, leveraging on its huge students and talent capacity, adding that they should allow the outcome of their research findings to be relevant and useful for the market and national development in the long run.
The minister expressed displeasure over the current norm where universities lecturers are being evaluated based on the number of papers they write and publish, rather than on practical knowledge and result oriented techniques that companies need.
He described the “mathematics-based science” as a mismatch, stating that the trend must be changed in tandem with the creative economic paradigm of the 21st century.
He however assured Nigerians that his ministry would ensure that ICT professionals are always consulted and engaged, as well as liaise with research think-tanks, relevant scholarly communities for national development.
Highlighting the significance of the conference, the President, Academic Information Technology Professionals (AITP), Prof. A.A Obiniyi, said the aim of the AITP was to enhance quality education and ensure high impact research in computer science, information technology and related disciplines, with interest in use of information technology to enhance national development.
He pointed out that the time has come for Nigeria to set a pace for the establishment of professionalism in the Information Technology (IT), teaching and related discipline and must therefore brainstorm on how to put Nigeria on the global map by looking into what we have to get what we need.