With its recent accreditation to award National Innovation Diploma (NID) in different fields of information and communication technology, ICT; Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), blazes a trail in ICT education in the country in the direction of Nigerian youths defeating the scourge of unemployment by becoming certified ICT professionals. SOLOMON AYADO writes
t was the consensus at the maiden matriculation ceremony of the students of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) that embarking on home-grown training of professionals will set the pace to the nation becoming a global information and communication technology, ICT player and create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths. This was the assertion when the emir of Kano, His Royal Highness, Muhammadu Sanusi II and Governor Umar Ganduje of Kano State upped the initiatives of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) in supporting DBI, a private ICT firm to secure accreditation from the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) for the award of National Innovation Diploma (NID) in several fields of information technology.
Records have shown that so many youths have changed their poverty conditions to become providers of jobs through ICT. For instance, Forbes magazine has held that the financial net-worth of 100 ICT gurus globally stood at $842.9 billion. These ICT tycoons and billionaires include Bill Gates (Microsoft), Larry Elison (Oracle), Mark Zukerberg (Facebook), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Steve Jobs (Windows), Snapchat, founder and CEO of Evan Spiegel, to mention but a few.
Additional facts have also proven that “seven of these world’s richest information and communication technology billionaires are women. The youngest of them all, Snapchat is 25 years, while the oldest, Gordon Moore, Intel co-founder, is 86 and who alone is worth an estimated $6 billion.” Forbes further stated that “nearly all the 100 are self-made: 94 made their own luck, and three inherited their fortunes but have been actively expanding them.”
Incidentally, none of these billionaires is a Nigerian or African. The few Nigerians whose names ring a bell in the ICT world like Philip Emeagwali, ascended to global prominence in the ICT world, but it was not in Nigeria. Although Emegwali and other ICT savvy Nigerians, took off in Nigeria’s academic environment, they did not get to stardom through any facility provided in the country. They are also not billionaires. Even the late Professor O.U Mobison, who made waves at the Anambra State University of Science and Technology (ASUTECH) in the 80s, with his computer code-named Z1990, did not progress further from there.
That is why when the Nigeria Communications Communication (NCC) through sustained innovative approach and desire for Nigeria to get its fair share in the global ICT family supported DBI to become a member of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), as one of the six centers of excellence in Africa under the ITU-ICT Academy Network. ICT experts applauded the dexterity and foresight of Dr. Ike Adinde, who achieved this feat barely six months into his assumption of office as the administrator of DBI.
In less than two years, the institute recorded another major feat by obtaining the accreditation by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and the Federal Ministry of Education for the award National Innovation Diploma (NID) to deserving students.
At the institution’s commissioning ceremony on May 24, 24 pioneer students – five students in computer software engineering; 10 students in networking and systems security; five in telecommunications technology and four other students enrolled to obtain requisite training in multimedia technology.
Performing the ceremony, Governor Umar Ganduje of Kano State and the emir of Kano, HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II, applauded the efforts of DBI and made calls for greater penetration of ICT to the rural areas.
Governor Ganduje stated that with the NBTE accreditation of DBI courses, an academically-propelled financial pivot has opened a vista for Nigerians to square up neck-to-neck with key ICT global players. He maintained that since it has been proven that there exist depthless opportunities in the ICT sphere, Nigerians would soon produce several ICT-propelled billionaires. He also said that with the efforts put in place by the DBI and by having one of its campuses in Kano, the country will in no distant future experience unparalleled technological development, with the ancient Kano city becoming a major hub.
The emir of Kano was not left out. He urged the federal government to inject more funds into ICT manpower, infrastructural and software development in order to promote greater broadband penetration in the rural communities across the country. He emphasized that if government was desirous of diversifying the economy, it should lay emphasis on the ICT sector, since it was positively transforming developed economies and their youths.
Emir Sanusi stated that: “If the present administration is desirous of attaining its change mantra, then there is the need to create the enabling environment for the development and expanding of ICT in Nigeria.
The executive vice chairman of NCC , Prof Danbatta, buttressed what he called “significant milestones embarked upon by DBI which enabled it transform into a truly processional ICT training institute.” Going down the memory lane, he explained how as the vice president of the DBI, Kano campus, several years ago, he initiated steps to have the institute approved as an Innovation Enterprise Institute (IEI) by the NBTE.
He submitted that “NCC established DBI in 2004 following the successful auction of the Digital Mobile License by the NCC and the realization that there was glaring dearth of qualified manpower in the industry, and therefore, we set up the institute as an international center for telecommunication studies,” adding that with the matriculation, he was happy that his dream has been fulfilled.
On his part, Dr Adindu informed on how DBI, under his administration signed strategic partnership agreements with major ICT solution providers and equipment manufacturers. According to him, “As a professional academy member of Microsoft and Cisco, DBI is able to offer certification courses in Microsoft applications and Cisco networking. This will enable our students to pursue relevant professional ICT certifications during or after graduation. We have similar arrangements with Huawei Technologies, Nigeria’s foremost telecom equipment manufacturers. The Huawei partnership gives us access to the telecom laboratory and workshop during training programmes. In the coming months, we shall be rolling our joint programmes as a Huawei Accredited Local Partner (HALP)”.
As it stand, having successfully taken off as the pioneer ICT-based training institute, Nigeria has now set the right parameters to square up with advanced countries in the global ICT business. There is no doubt that this will surely transform Nigeria’s economy for the better and create improved level of employment.