Photograph — PREMIUM TIMES

Nigeria’s recent approval of the running of Cisco Net-working Academy Programme coupled with the recent green light signal towards the establishment of six Internet of Things (IoT) innovation centres across federal unity colleges is a welcome development. Members of the general public –particularly tech experts and educationists in the country are very excited about the potential of this project. 

It appears that the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah’s plea on the need for Nigeria to step up on her ICT, last August at the inauguration of UNITes CiSCO “Internet of Things’’ innovation centre at the Federal Science and Technical College (FSTC) Yaba, has finally gained attention and generated positive results.

The Minister in his call had hammered on why Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Education must catch up with the fast pace of technological advancement in order to remain relevant in the comity of nations. Professor Anthony Anwukah had noted that Nigeria must not lay back while other nations take the lead. 

This development comes on the heels of last October’s commendable effort by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu who on behalf of the government distributed a total of 330 laptops to some selected Federal Unity colleges in the country.

Reviewing the government’s effort in enhancing ICT in the country, Vanguard describes this approval as the “government’s strong statement towards entrenching sound Information and Communications Technology (ICT) learning” in the country’s primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. 

While making this announcement at the official opening and inauguration of one of the Innovation Centres at Queen’s College, Lagos, the Minister explained that the government has discovered that qualitative education in the modern world is intrinsically tied to the development and deployment of ICT in education. Adding that, the Cisco initiative is highly commendable as it will train students to become global problem solvers and competitors on a global level.

When these centres come into full operation, it is hoped that the Networking Academy of Cisco will provide more access to quality ICT education in the country. More importantly, the establishment of these centres also signifies how Cisco, as a leading partner, joins to encourage the adoption and the application of technology.

According to the Minister, the aim is to boost the education sector, ensuring more students are exposed to skills for the digital economy, in the current 4th Industrial Revolution. This, he claimed, will enhance Nigeria’s global competitiveness, boost socio-economic development and promote employability of Nigerian youths.

QUICK FACTS ABOUT INNOVATION CENTRES:

Innovation centres facilitate the bringing together of all the advisory expertise needed to help innovators evaluate their ideas and convert them into business projects.

Innovation centres have grown to become birthplace of numerous great ideas – ideas created by African youth who engage in the IT sphere.

Innovation hubs serve as centres for creativity and development of information technology amongst youth.

In Africa, innovation centres often go past being centres of creativity and even go as far as driving development in a broad range of sectors. –JUMIA.

Improves how a team explores tech and how they humanize the evolving digital customer.  

Innovation centers also help companies to stay abreast with the latest developments and upcoming technologies in the market.

In summary, innovation centres assist to accelerate digital innovation by rethinking customer experience, improving operational efficiency and testing new business models through the use of digital technologies such as Big Data, the Internet of Things, Social Media, Mobile, Robotics, Augmented Reality and 3D Printing.

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