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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Omatek, UI team up, sign MoU on digital facility

Remmy Nweke


Obviously heeding the call by the government for the private sector participation in the education sector, Omatek Computers has teamed up with the University of Ibadan (UI), even as they have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the setting up of multidisciplinary centre classified as Omatek Digital Research Facility (ODRF).


Disclosing this, Managing Director, Omatek, Mrs. Florence Seriki, said that the facility would serve as foundation for the implementation of research and development activities to boost advance skills and collaborative conduct in a variety of areas, including software, hardware and Information Technology (IT) applications in medicine and health sciences, science and technology, finance, marketing as well as evolving the interest of the small scale enterprises under the SME scheme of the Federal Government.


According to the elated Vice Chancellor of UI, Prof Olufemi Bamiro, the partnership particularly in the area of capacity building would now get a boost with the facility and precisely with the signing of MoU.


The don also said, the partnership is particularly important because of the strategic position of the university in the Nigerian higher education system and Omatek in the country’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.


For Mrs. Seriki, the MoU is a gigantic step in the relationship between the business and academic community, emphasising that there is urgent need to tap the human resources available in various institutions of higher learning in the country to leapfrog the nation in solving problems in the areas of engineering and management including product development, marketing and financing issues among others.


“The knowledge base available in the academic community in terms of the various research and development efforts, abandoned projects written by students for example, cannot be quantified,” she noted.


As said by her, one could only imagine the SME opportunities that could come out of the research and development from these institutions.


“As such, there is need to direct and harness all these knowledge into good use. This is what the partnership with this great institution is all about. It is really a great leap forward in the development process in Nigeria,” she asserted


She further explained the objectives of the partnership, saying it would provide avenues for skills development of staff and students alike through research and industrial attachment, promote access of Omatek to multidisciplinary problem-solving teams in the areas of engineering, management including product development, marketing and financing among others.


Private sector and academic community partnerships, she said, are now gaining ground as the bedrock of national development.


Recently, the first four awardees of the Hall of Fame of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) were mandated to form the OAU Technology Company as a think tank for the university in providing research and development, and perfecting joint ventures between the academia and the business community.


Present at the signing ceremony were Professor Bamiro, the VC of the University of Ibadan, Mrs. Mojisola Ladipo, the Registrar, Professor Oluleye, the Chairman of ICT, Mrs. Florence Seriki Managing Director of OMATEK Computers Limited and Mr. Olumide Akinmutimi, the Deputy General Manager of OMATEK Computers.


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