Dr. Ike Adinde, the administrator of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), has called for significant investment in skills of the workforce to make them key drivers of the economy.
Adinde made the suggestion in Abuja at the inauguration of DBI Telecommunication Network Equipment Laboratory.
He said that the laboratory, worth $1 million, was donated by Huawei Technologies Nigeria Limited.
According to him, investing in the skills of the workforce of a nation is crucial, especially in an increasingly globalised world.
“There is, therefore, the urgent need for us to train and make available to the industry highly skilled human resources to serve as key drivers of the economy.
“It is in response to these challenges that the DBI has built this ultra-modern lab to train and equip Nigerians with relevant ICT skills for the 21st century to tackle challenges presented by the fourth industrial revolution, which requires tailor-made solutions that keep pace with the ever-evolving telecom industry,” he said.
Adinde stated that the lab project was started in July 2018 with the donation of a complement of modern telecom equipment by Huawei Technologies.
He said that the lab was equipped with transmission equipment and ultra-modern next-generation core network switching centre that gives a complete end-to-end telecoms scenario.
“One major benefit of the equipment is that it uses real-world industrial quality components to help students become better prepared for what they will encounter on the job.
“The lab is equally effective for technicians, engineers, field workers and anyone needing further understanding and skills in wireless telecommunications.”
He thanked the DBI’s parent institution – the Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC) – and its executive vice chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, whose “leadership role has enabled the institute to forge critical strategic collaborations such as that of the Huawei Technologies that has crystallised to this achievement.’’
Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, the chairman, of the governing board of DBI, said that the inauguration of the laboratory represented a leap in the efforts of the institute to provide qualitative hands on practical telecommunications and ICT training.
Omo-Ettu said that the development of skilled workforce across all sectors of the economy had become a national priority.
“We are keenly aware that there is a global shift from natural resources as a basis for national competitiveness to human resources underpinned by knowledge innovation.
“Interestingly, it is also increasingly evident that innovation is not about academic qualifications or certificates, the emphasis is on skills and creative abilities of the individual.
“The new DBI telecom industry has a full complement of GSM/UTMS equipment and will be fully deployed for the training and retraining of entry level and middle level engineers in industry.
“This effort is the first step in an ambitious plan by the institute to develop functional laboratories and workshops in its campuses in Kano, Lagos, Enugu and Yola.”
According to him, the DBI campuses will serve as focal ICT training centres and would in time transform to innovation hubs.
Mr. Kevin Yangyang, deputy managing director, Huawei Technologies, said that as partner to the Nigerian Communication Commission and DBI, the organisation believed in contributing significantly to the development of ICT.