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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

DBI boss tasks schools, signs MoU on T2P

By Remmy Nweke

CHIEF executive, Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) Abuja, Dr. Olasupo Ogunfemi, has tasked Nigerian higher institutions to tap into a new fund made available by the World Bank for teaching of science and technology as development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) courses for the nation.

This came as DBI has officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal Polytechnic Nekede-Owerri, (FPNO) in Imo State, under its Training-To-Placement (T2P) academic programme.

Dr. Ogunfemi said, Nigerian schools, and mostly the tertiary institutions should take advantage of this fund, which he noted is already being used by a few.

Tapping into the fund, he said, would give the nation’s tertiary institutions the required leverage to become 21st competitive and their graduates proud of the nation.

He lamented that till date some Nigerian graduates even in the computer science department are not employable due to inadequate training equipment for hands-on practical and teaching.

“Employers of labour want productive people and not just bodies of liabilities,” he declared.

Dr. Ogunfemi therefore lauded Nekede Poly for taking a step in signing the MoU on T2P academic programme of DBI, which he said was designed to provide world-class education to Africans who have the education qualifications.

“But were unable to position themselves in the ICT, industry where skillful competences are required,” he noted, even as DBI offers this programme in Diploma and Post Graduate degrees, which are awarded in various ICT disciplines.

The MoU, he also said, was well conceptualized and responsibility of each party well understood and accepted to make it a success, even as beneficiaries have the choice of internship within and outside the country to be facilitated by DBI.

Dr. Ogunfemi equally enjoined other institutions in the country to emulate FPNO and improve on the standards of graduates.

In his comment, Rector, FPNO, Mr. Onyekwere Nwankwo informed newsmen that as the first step in the MoU, FPNO would soon be sending approximated 10 students and two lecturers to DBI from the school of Telecommunications Engineering and Computer Science all together.

He expressed confident that FPNO would maintain the standards already achieved in the school that was established 28 years ago, by leveraging upon the MoU via making good use of the opportunity to train students and staff.

FPNO became a federal institution in 1993 and currently has a student population of over 15,000, just as it is accredited by the National Board of Technical Education (NBTC) to award Higher National Diploma (HND) in both telecommunication engineering and computer science among others.

Mr. Nwankwo, who was accompanied by the registrar of FPNO, Mrs. Chiaka Onukogu, later endorsed the MoU, as DBI team was led by Dr. Ogunfemi and Head, Research and Educational Development, Dr. Idika Ochaa, while the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, witnessed the ceremony among other dignitaries.


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