By Adedeji Fakorede
Poor funding and lackadaisical attitude demonstrated by successive governments towards information technology (IT) are some of the causative factors directly responsible for low IT literacy in the country.
It is also responsible for the nation’s backwardness in the area of technological education.
It is therefore important that Nigerians and the Nigerian government consider the importance of ICT in driving growth of the Nigerian economy and make haste to protect and promote ICT development in the country
Across the globe, the spread of digital technology has ensured that practically everything one does is driven by technology.
Nodding in agreement, Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said that the ICT is the driving force of the country’s future.
In reality however, many Nigerian graduates still leave higher institutions of learning without touching the computer.
Going forward, the curricula of the country’s educational system need to be changed to accommodate information communications technology and to reflect the reality of today’s working environment.
Chris Uwaje, Africa chair for IEEE World Internet of Things (WIoT), said that if the nation must survive emerging critical challenges, traumatic impact and secure opportunities and benefits presented by globalisation order of the 21st century, it must step forward to be counted and digitally ready at all levels.
That why, the federal government should consider the establishment of an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Development Bank.
ICT Development Bank that would nurture and specifically care for the country’s nascent IT industry because the commercial banks don’t understand IT, in terms of investment, as they are always talking about collateral and valuation of the IT companies.
Sunday Folayan, ICT expert, captured it, when he said: “We need a specialist bank that understands IT and can invest in IT. Commercial banks don’t understand agriculture, that is why we have the Bank of Agriculture.
“Commercial banks don’t understand industry, that is why we have the Bank of Industry (BoI). So we need a bank of ICT that will specially understand IT and be able to fund ICT development in the country. We need a bank for IT that will collect less than 10 per cent interest, in order to be able to position IT in the country,” Folayan said.
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