The director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi has urged universities in the country to adopt effective sustainability models in their IT innovation hubs, following the exemplary model set by the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
He said he believes this will enable them to harness the full potential of digital technology and enhance productivity.
During a working visit to NITDA’s IT innovation hub at UNILAG, Abdullahi was warmly received by the deputy vice chancellor (development services) of the institution, Prof. Ayodele Atsenuwa and the director of the hub, Dr. Victor Odumuyiwa.
Emphasising the significant impact of information technology on humanity, Abdullahi highlighted the importance of universities effectively utilising IT hubs in collaboration with relevant stakeholders to leverage emerging technologies optimally.
He commended UNILAG for keeping its hub open to everyone with innovative ideas, stating that such inclusivity and collaboration could lead to solutions for the challenges facing the country.
“I am super excited when you said the hub is open to everyone. We need to help them take their ideas from inception to impact, build solutions out of it, solutions that will change society, impact the community and many more,” he noted.
Addressing the potential of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics, Abdullahi emphasised their use in building seamless systems for social justice, criminal justice and efficient service distribution in society.
Expressing his delight at UNILAG’s IT innovation hub, which has already trained and incubated over 1,200 people, the NITDA boss encouraged other hubs, to which the agency has donated in five other universities, to scale up their activities and make the best use of the facilities provided to them.
He also disclosed that NITDA is constructing more IT Innovation Hubs outside universities to accommodate more innovative minds and create wealth for the country, thereby enhancing economic value.
On behalf of the vice-chancellor and the entire university, Atsenuwa thanked NITDA for donating the building facility, stating that it perfectly aligned with UNILAG’s aspiration to become a significant player in Nigeria’s emerging digital space. She noted that the donation demonstrated the connection between the traditional curriculum and the innovation the university is fostering.
“We have a lot more to do with 62,000 students and servicing the community and NITDA’s hub is the only one in UNILAG open to anyone from anywhere,” she affirmed.
Odumuyiwa presented an overview of the hub’s programmes, activities and achievements, highlighting the accomplishments of over 1,200 individuals trained in the facility, many of whom have made commendable contributions to the country’s digital space.
He revealed that the facility has attracted over N20 million from voluntary sponsors and emphasised its openness to tech enthusiasts of all ages, as it strives to cultivate the critical human resources needed for Nigeria’s emerging technology landscape.