Minister of Communications Applauds Unijos For Pioneering Work in Digital Technology
UNIVERSITY OF JOS, JOS NIGERIA
(OFFICE OF THE VICE-CHANCELLOR)
INFORMATION, PUBLICATIONS, PUBLIC RELATIONS & PROTOCOL DIVISION
MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS APPLAUDS UNIJOS FOR PIONEERING WORK IN DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Technology, Dr Bosun Tijani has expressed his Ministry’s strong interest in partnering with the University of Jos to establish a Centre of Excellence in Cybersecurity, Digital Forensics and Artificial Intelligence (AI). According to Dr Tijani, Nigeria can only rise to its full potential as a Nation when Universities and other Research Institutions take their pride of place as the hub of innovation, knowledge generation and problem solving for the society.
The Minister was speaking when he received Management of the University of Jos led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tanko Ishaya in his office in Abuja.
Dr Tijani, who applauded Unijos for its long tradition of excellence in many disciplines including Medicine, Theatre Arts, Law, Economics among others, expressed delight that the University is now establishing a unique presence in digital enterprise development and inventiveness through its research work on digital innovation and entrepreneurship towards upscaling the country’s digital ecosystem.
The Minister challenged Academic Institutions in the country to treat the social challenges bedeviling the Nation such as kidnapping, banditry, political wrangling, food security among others, as knowledge challenges which requires them to develop creative solutions that would overcome these issues. He disclosed that his Ministry is working through some of its Agencies like the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to provide Wi-Fi for interoperability and internet connectivity for Students Hostels across the Nation’s tertiary institutions while also funding Academic Research projects and acquisition of Doctorate Degrees (PhDs) by young Scholars. The Minister believes such initiative will open up a world of possibilities for young Nigerian inventors especially in the areas of designing and deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI) as well as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) to address some of the Nation’s socioeconomic challenges.
Dr Tijani, who is a 2002 Alumnus of the University of Jos, says his early understanding of the value of applying Technology and Innovation to solve problems was shaped when he enrolled for a Diploma programme in Computer Science at the University of Jos and later switched to study for a Degree in Economics at the same University. Describing his experience at the University as one of the best of his early memories in life, the Minister noted that he has encountered many Alumni of the University creating value around the world and unveiled plans to visit University of Jos soon, to concretize his Ministry’s proposed partnership with the University in areas of mutual interest. He further assured of his Ministry’s support towards the successful hosting of the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) competition by the University later this year.
Speaking earlier, Vice-Chancellor, University of Jos, Professor Tanko Ishaya congratulated Dr Bosun Tijani over his appointment to head one of the country’s most resourceful and enterprising Ministries and assured him of the unalloyed support and goodwill of the entire University community.
The Vice-Chancellor informed the Minister of the University’s efforts to emerge as the preferred destination for digital activities in the country by establishing a Centre of Excellence in Cybersecurity, Digital Forensics and Artificial Intelligence (AI). According to Professor Ishaya, the University already hosts one of the Nation’s best Data Centres which was funded by TETfund and has also reached out to the French Development Agency (AFD) through the National Universities Commission (NUC) to sponsor the formation of a Digital Hub in the University through an ICT Development Grant.
The Vice-Chancellor revealed that the University is undertaking a project that facilitates the embedding of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) with Artificial Intelligence capabilities for security surveillance. According to him, the University has already tested the device in the aerial location of some criminal hideouts and intends to work with Security Agencies to finetune the equipment to meet their specifications for future deployment in the field.
Ishaya, who is a Professor of Computer Science, explained that over the years, the University has developed a reputation for being a Research-intensive institution by securing many Research Grants in Medicine, Pharmacy, Food Security, Theatre Arts among others and assured that if given the required support, the University will record impactful Research discoveries towards addressing the challenges of its immediate communities and promoting National development.
Similarly, the Vice-Chancellor solicited the support of the Minister to partner with the University as it intensifies efforts towards hosting the 27th edition of the NUGA festival this year. He said the University has already secured some funding from the Abdulsamad Rabiu (ASR) Foundation and TETfund for the construction of some Sports facilities and needs further assistance and partnership from Alumni, Corporate organizations, Public spirited individuals and organizations as well as other stakeholders to stage a highly successful event, as he had earlier promised.
Also contributing, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Jos, Professor Joash Amupitan SAN described Dr Bosun Tijani as a high-profile Ambassador of the University and used the opportunity to invite the Minister to deliver a Distinguished Alumni Lecture in the institution, a request which the Minister agreed to honour.
Senior Deputy Registrar, Information and Publications