Senate, Minister squabble over establishment of Institute in Osun

Senate, Minister squabble over establishment of Institute in Osun

The Nigerian Senate and the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Ali Isa Pantami, were in a heated disagreement over the proposed establishment of the Institute of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Iwo, Osun State.

Senator Yakubu Oseni APC,  Kogi Central-led Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime and the Minister, had this dispute during the public hearing on the bill titled:” A bill for Act for  Establishment of the Institute of Information and Communication Technology in Iwo, Osun State.

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While the Committee gave tacit support for the proposal sponsored to that effect by Senator Adelere Oriolowo (APC Osun West), the Minister kicked against the proposal, describing it as the lack of funds for its establishment sustainability as well as alleged duplication of mandates of an existing institution.

In his presentation, the Sponsor of the Bill,  Sen.

Oriolowo, noted that the Institute is necessary in the digital world, saying that its establishment will carry out scientific and applied research in modern information technology applications to optimize processes and decision support systems.

“Globally, ICT applications are making dramatic changes in economic and social development.

These changes do not generally mean an increase in the number of computers appearing in homes, workplaces and schools but a change in the foundations of economic growth and its relationship to human capital.

“The Institution is going to play a vital role in the training of journalists and media practitioners in the emerging global issues of climate change, natural disasters and insecurities/insurgencies around the world.


On the other hand, the Minister’s presentation states that the ICT Institute sought after wasn’t needed during an economic downturn.

Pantami, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Bitrus Bako, said, “As promising as the proposed institution may be, funding affecting already existing institutions will also affect it if created.

“Another critical observation made by the Ministry in the bill is that the courses listed are already running in some Polytechnics in the country.

“Rather than seeking for the establishment of a different institute, concerted efforts should be made to make adequate financial provisions for the existing institution.

However, in a passionate appeal, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi, pleaded with the Committee and the Minister to make the establishment of the Institute see the light of the day.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is known for the Infrastructure revolution, making the proposed Institute as icing on the cake.

Also, a youth member from the State , Jubril Akintayo, submitted before the Committee that the existing institution the Minister referred to run theoretical curricular and not practical ones the ICT requires.

He affirms that the establishment of the Institute will help the government take millions of unemployed youth off the streets as technological communication skills acquired will fetch them jobs in and outside the country.

 
Suzan O.

/NAN
Senate, Minister squabble over establishment of Institute in Osun

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