NCC canvasses local IT training for ex-militants

By The Citizen

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has received the greenlight to train some former militants for re-integration into the society.

The training will be at NCC's Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) in Oshodi, Lagos.

Vice President of the Institute, Dr Okechukwu Ugweje told The Nation when the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications Technology, Dr Henry Akpan, visited the institute's Oshodi, Lagos Campus. He said there was no further need to take people under the Amnesty Programme who desire training in any field of information communication technology (ICT) to other parts of the world when the facilities, competence and capability to do so are available at home.

'The Federal Government is training a lot of people as part of the Amnesty Programme. Some people were even sent overseas for training. We believe that instead of going overseas, we can train here in Nigeria and we have facilities here at the DBI to train the amnesty people in ICT. Anything that is related to ICT, anything that is related to film, cinema and cinematography and anything related to computers. They can do the training in Nigeria instead of taking Nigerians to other countries. We have more than enough facilities here at DBI. We also have the capability. That is why I said we are prepared for such training,' Ugweje said.

Though he said the number of ex-militants that would be trained was not known, an official of DBI said some thousands of the militants are expected in batches in Lagos. 'So many of the ex-militants will be trained here, but for a start, some 300 will be trained in the first batch while the second batch will accommodate the same numbers. We hope the Federal Government will continue with the training,' he said on condition of anonymity.

Akpan expressed satisfaction with the state of facilities in the campus, adding that they will help train the crop of ICT entrepreneurs that will move the country to the next level.

'DBI has changed the aesthetics of the structure. DBI will provide opportunity for the youth to learn and reduce poverty and restiveness. We are interested in knowing how soon we will be converting the structure to use,' Apkan said.

Ugweje said the institution has patnered both local and international universities to deliver internationally acceptable curriculum to the people that pass through it. 'We already have partners. We have partnered with Nigerian universities, we have international partners in ICT. In fact, partnership is one of the strengths of the DBI vcos. We partner with a lot of institutions in the US, Europe, as well as universities in Nigeria. We have been doing that. We shall continue to do this. I don't want to start naming the universities because they may not have direct relevance to the amnesty ptogramme. The amnesty programme is coming up anytime from now,' he added.