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Saturday, March 24, 2007

ALTON tasks FG on NITEL training school

The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has tasked the Federal Government on the need to upgrade the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) Training School, Oshodi-Lagos.

ALTON made this call during a courtesy visit of its executive to the Minister of State for Communications, Dr. Obafemi Anibaba, at the weekend in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.

The executive led by its chairman, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, while lamenting the dearth of manpower in the core telecommunications engineering segment of the industry, said that the nation’s educational institutions have not measured up to the manpower needs of the this specialised area.

He noted that most of the networks in the country today, are new and as such currently require less maintenance, stressing that it would amount to economic slavery if the nation fails to produce graduates to take up the maintenance of these infrastructure.

“If we do not produce graduates trained to take up maintenance of these infrastructure the nation will continue to depend on foreign manpower in this regard,” he observed. Mr. Adebayo also said that the nation’s tertiary institutions should be encouraged to carry out specialised training in telecommunications engineering as well as in other related courses in the interest of the country. “We kindly request that the NITEL training school be revisited. ALTON is of the view that this institute in Oshodi-Lagos, and a campus of know-how, should be upgraded and equipped with modern training facilities in order to assist in the area of the much needed local manpower in the telecoms industry,” he said. Mr. Adebayo equally assured the minister of his association’s readiness to assist in bringing the training school back to life. “Operators will be ready to assist with the provision of training equipment and also support with resource persons,” he declared. He pointed out that there is need for the government to address the upgrading of this institution because of the much-needed human capital development in the Nigeria telecommunications. ALTON further requested the upgrading of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) Abuja, to specialised degree awarding institution. This, ALTON said, would boost the development of highly skilled personnel and high level manpower development for the evolving telecommunications sector.

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