By Nkechi Isaac, Abuja
Nigeria’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) University, the first of its kind in Africa, is billed to commence academic activities in September this year once it receives the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
The Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, disclosed this when he received the report of the 31-member committee charged to draw up modalities in establishing the ICT University in his office in Abuja.
The Federal Government had on June 1, 2017, inaugurated an implementation committee to facilitate the establishment of the proposed Information Communication Technology (ICT) University of Nigeria.
Receiving the report, the minister pledged to speedily implement the report of the committee, saying the ministry would come out with a memorandum to ensure that the university would commence operation by September as planned.
The minister, however, pointed out that the proposed university would be driven by the private sector in a sort of public private partnership (PPP) arrangement, with the federal government providing the necessary basic infrastructure, while the private sector provides funds for running the institution.
He said: “The university will be funded by the PPP arrangement, the Federal Government only provides the infrastructure, we should be able to utilise the funds from the private sector to run it. In doing this, emphasis would be placed on financing and entrepreneurship when selecting those that would partner with government on the establishment.”
Submitting the report, the chairman of the committee and the immediate past executive secretary of the Nigerian University Commission (NUC), Prof Julius Okojie, said his members were committed and did a painstaking job to meet up with the six weeks deadline given by the minister and that they all looked at it as a national assignment.
Okojie added that part of the recommendations was that the university would run six campuses and would also run a college system with three colleges at its inception, namely Information Technology, Applied Technology and Society and Security Technology.
He said he was optimistic that the university would play a major role in the development of innovation as it would be a research institution, even as he called on the government to engage lecturers well-grounded in the sector, adding government should endeavour to retain lecturers that had been trained by the school.