The Senate on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 passed a bill to establish the Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Ogoja, Cross River state, which was sponsored by Senator Stephen Adi Odey representing River North Senatorial.
The passage of the bill was concurrently carried out alongside the upgrade of the Maritime Academy Oron, in Akwa Ibom state to the status of a full fledged university.
The bills were passed by the upper chamber after the presentation and consideration of two separate reports by the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.
Recalled that the sponsor of the bill, Senator Stephen Adi Odey presented the bill for consideration for the first time in the Senate Chamber on Thursday, 11 February 2021, and sponsored five (5) Bill within the space of about 5 months in the Red Chamber.
While reading the bill on the floor of the Senate, senator Odey said: “Information and Communication Technology cannot be overlooked in the 21st century without dire consequences. The world has long moved from an analogue model to a digital one and this digitalization of human activities keeps assuming different dimensions daily with the launch of diverse computer software and programme. In order not to lag behind, Nigeria must pay particular attention to the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
“The Government of Nigeria, the private sector and Nigerians spends humungous amount of money yearly to purchase software and maintain social network accounts developed by youths of other nations. Apart from being a risk to our digital safety, this is another means through which our scarce foreign reserves get depleted. In recognition of the impact of Digital Economy in the global stage, the Ministry of Communications was renamed Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy on 17 October 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“President Buhari has taken a path which we must follow. Our nation is not short of youths who can be trained to become professionals in the area of Information and Communications Technology. We must ensure that we provide a conduce atmosphere for such specialized training in order to assist them in solving our local problems in peculiar ways and in exporting their talent to other nations which will in turn positively impact on our economy,” he said.
He noted that the institution will create job employment for youths to address the issues of insecurities across the country.
“Provide full-time and part-time courses in Information and Communication Technology, Engineering Technology, Applied Sciences, Management Sciences and other fields of study leading to the award of Ordinary National Diploma, Higher National Diploma, and certificates in specialized programmes;
“To provide facilities and encourage research in all its area of focus to aid the development of Nigeria in the areas of industry, commerce, Technology and engineering; and a well-developed and articulate technical education through consistent research, development and constant contact with renowned institutions and appropriate industries; as well as appropriate training and vocational dexterity for a self-reliant and focused Nigerian student, and also to provide industrial skills for those who want to be employers of labour or gainfully employed,”