The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to deploy emerging technologies and ensure digital inclusion in tertiary institutions across the country.The MoU process, which started four years ago between the two institutions, covers areas such as information technology infrastructure deployment, deployment of emerging technologies and digitisation of services in tertiary schools, human capacity and project management.
Others are IT academy deployment; ICT policy development and emerging technologies; deepening of research and development with ICT in tertiary institutions.
Speaking at the event in Abuja, Director-General of NITDA, Dr. Isa Pantami, noted that the MoU is very strategic and important considering that no government institution can single-handedly deliver on its mandate. He observed that the MoU is about emerging technologies, which are things institutions of higher learning in the country require, adding that NITDA was established to implement the country’s IT policy, develop and regulate IT in the country through standards, guidelines and frameworks .
Pantami explained that NITDA is the IT project clearing house for all the federal public institution and that all the agencies of government must seek clearance from NITDA before purchasing, deploying or using IT in the country.He observed that though most tertiary institutions are already using ICT in their activities, there is a need to upgrade to include emerging technologies to be at par with the global trend.
He said: ‘’So many schools in Nigeria do not have old records of their activities and when past students misplace results or certificates, they only engage in swearing court affidavits. However, with Block Chain technology, Artificial Intelligence and other forms of modern day technology, schools can digitise their activities, which will save cost, energy and ensure efficiency. Our universities are becoming highly populated, but with IT, we can make easier the learning process which will de-congest the classrooms.”
Pantami urged TETFUND to set up a committee in collaboration with NITDA to facilitate the implementation process of the MoU. In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, noted that the MoU is very important adding that there is a proposal to integrate all former thesis and projects in about 220 tertiary institutions in the country in a server so that they could be harvested through subscription.
Bogoro said quite a number of emerging technology solutions were very creative, innovative and enhanced learning that the MoU would be for the benefit of the students and lecturers because ICT was required for every process of learning.The Executive Secretary said that the MoU would be beneficial to the students and lecturers as ICT was required for every process of learning.