Ministry proposes inter ministerial-partnership to bridge gap in ICT research, commercialisation


The Minister of Communications, Barr Adebayo Shittu, has called for stakeholders partnership to bridge the gap between Information and Communication Technology (ICT) research output and commercialisation.
This is contained in a statement made available to newsmen on Thursday in Lagos.
The statement said that the minister expressed much concern over the gap between ICT research output from the universities and the level of industrial commercialisation accorded them.
”I wish to propose a high-level tripartite dialogue between my Ministry, the Federal Ministry of Education and the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) to address this concern.
”In the 21st Century, global relevance has shifted from nations with huge natural resources to nations with developed human resources that can technologically explore, exploit and manage natural resources for the benefit of mankind.
”The solution to Nigeria’s economic setback entails the diversification of the productive base of our national economy and the urgent training and re-training of our national workforce technologically and digitally,” the statement quoted the minister.
It said that the Technology Innovation Centre, planned by NCS, would be a major part of the answer to the national objective of training and re-training the national workforce technologically and digitally.
The statement said that the time had come for Nigeria to deliver innovative products and services to the world.
Through this, it would be able to assert itself on the world stage, alongside the Western and the BRIC nations comprising of Britain, Rusia, India and China, presently leading the world, it said.
The minister in the statement said that ICT was a veritable platform for sustainable employment and wealth creation through a robust people, public, private partnership (4Ps) programme.
Shittu added that Nigeria urgently needed ICT solutions to the challenges of Boko Haram, kidnappings, youth unemployment, and cyber-crimes, among others, it said.
”As you are undoubtedly aware, technology, particularly ICT, is the critical driver of the knowledge-based economy of our post-modern world.
”The reality of global relevance is now impacting unavoidably on our collective national psyche in Nigeria today, with the situation of ever-dwindling international oil prices and, by extension, ever-dwindling national revenue generation.
”In today’s global village, the frontier-knowledge elite, the elite of the technological and the digital revolutions, are the undisputable custodians of strategic and economic power.
”Today, our post-colonial national revenue generation model of an oil-export-only economy has been clearly shown to be unsustainable in the 21st Century.
”The obvious solution, as experts have pointed out, is to diversify the productive base of our national economy and urgently train and re-train our national workforce technologically and digitally.
”This solution is, as can be easily seen, an undeniable integral programme of the central ‘change’ mantra of the incumbent administration of President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said in the statement. (NAN)

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