The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, has urged universities in the country to emulate the University of Lagos (UNILAG) in setting up sustainable IT Innovation hubs to drive adoption of digital technology and productivity.
He spoke during a recent working visit to NITDA’s IT Innovation Hub at UNILAG where he was received by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development Services) of the institution, Prof. Ayodele Atsenuwa and the Director of the Hub, Dr. Victor Odumuyiwa.
“I am super excited when you said the hub is open to everyone. We need to help them take their ideas from inception to impact, build solutions out of it, build solutions that will change the society, that will impact the community and many more”, said Abdullahi as he commended UNILAG for making the hub open to everyone with innovative ideas. He maintained that solutions to some of the challenges facing the country can be achieved with such gestures and collaboration.
Hubs like these are offer a fertile ground to leverage emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics in building formidable seamless systems. “These systems can be used for social justice, criminal justice, and distribution of services in our society”.
According to him, the UNILAG IT Innovation Hub which has trained and incubated ideas of over 1,200 people.
Prof. Atsenuwa said that the donation of the building facility by NITDA synced very well with the university’s aspiration of becoming a notable player in the nation’s emerging digital space.
She said the support from NITDA has demonstrated the connection between the traditional curriculum and innovations from outside the walls of varsities. “We have a lot more to do with 62, 000 students and servicing the community and NITDA is the only Hub in UNILAG which is open to anyone from anywhere”, she averred.
Earlier, Dr. Odumuyiwa disclosed that a large fraction of the over 1,200 people trained in the facility have “gone ahead to do commendable things in the country’s digital space,” adding that the facility has attracted more than N20 million from voluntary sponsors.
“We are open to every willing tech enthusiast of every age category because we are on a mission to raise the critical human resource needed for Nigeria’s emerging technology,” said Odumuyiwa.