Monday, February 08, 2010

KASU, 3 others benefit from CAI refurbished PCs scheme

Four institutions have been named beneficiaries of the Computer Aid International (CAI) refurbished personal computer scheme, just as the non-governmental organization (NGO) calls on the government to enhance its partnership in making PC affordable to Nigerians.

These include the Kaduna State University (KASU), National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT), Zaria, Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria and PANAF Nursery/Primary and Secondary School, Barnawa, Kaduna.

Programme Officer, CAI West Africa, Ms. Anne Musyoki made these disclosure in Kaduna at the end of her recent facility tour of partnering organizations. According to her, over 25,000 computers have been shipped into the country by CAI since 2008, at about 60 per cent cheaper in acquiring a brand new PC, which she noted is critical information and Communications Technology (ICT) penetration being prophesied by government.

She explained that CAI usually acquired its systems as donation from corporate organisations in the United Kingdom (UK) who are changing their IT systems to newer ones, stressing that the PCs are then refurbished and shipped as donation to largely developing countries though countries such as Canada are also beneficiaries.

“More than 100 countries have benefitted from CAI computer donation since 1998 that the NGO was set up,” she declared. Ms Musyoki pointed out that government remains the chief catalysts to make computers affordable and available to the greater number of the populace.

She noted that affordable computers are the keys for digital inclusion and government must encourage organisations that are making affordable systems possible.

Such partnership, Musyoki said would boost the confidence that continuous partnership between CAI and its increasing number of beneficiaries will help in closing the country’s digital divide.

“The advantage is the cost of the procurement of these computers from Computer Aid International.  A computer from CAI cost about N14,000 while an imported brand new system or a locally assembled one cost from N70,000 and above,” she said.

Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor, KASU, Prof. Ezzeldin Mukhtar Abdulrahman observed that his institution is convinced that the partnership with CAI would make computers readily available to students and equally make “our staff to have systems at homes for their children.”

KASU is a distribution partner for CAI in Kaduna and help to ensure distribution of the systems to targeted organisations and individuals.

For the KASU’ Linkages Officer, Rilwanu Abdulsalami, CAI has helped the institute to increase its capacity for computer training for students and lecturers.

“With them, the PC-student ratio is six students to one PC in KASU. You will get to know that in institutions that have opted to go for systems distributed by CAI through us a lot of savings have been made and ploughed into other areas of development,” he said.

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