OrderPaperToday – Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Ali Pantami, has kicked against the proposed establishment of Institute of Information and Communication Technology in Iwo, Osun State.

This came to the fore when the Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime considered a bill sponsored to that effect by Senator Adelere Oriolowo (APC, Osun West) at the public hearing last Thursday.

While the Committee led by Senator Yakubu Oseni ( APC, Kogi Central) gave its total support for the proposal as entailed in the bill, the minister kicked against the proposal on the grounds of  alleged duplication of mandates of existing institution.

Sponsor of the bill titled, “a bill for an act for establishment of the institute of information and communication technology, Iwo, Osun State,”  Senator Oriolowo in his presentation at the public hearing, said the Institute is a necessity in the digital world.

He said that the institute when established, would carry out scientific and applied research in the area of modern information technology application to optimize processes and decision support systems.

“Globally, applications of ICT 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, work places and schools but a change in the foundations of economic growth and its relationship to human capital,” he said, adding:

“The Institution is definitely going to play a key 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”.

Pantami who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Bitrus Bako Nabasu, said the institute being sought for was not needed at this time of economy downturn.

“As promising as the proposed institution may be, paucity of fund being faced by already existing institution, will also affect it if created.

“Another critical observation made by the ministry in the bill seeking for the institute is that the courses listed to be run by it are already being run by some of the Polytechnics in the country.

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

‘The Ministry on account of these observations, submit that the bill should be stepped down”, Nabasu stated.

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

He stated President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is known for Infrastructural revolution requiring the proposed Institute as icing on the cake.

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