By Emmanuel Daudu, Abuja-Nigeria
The beginning of information and communication technologies (ICT) in Nigeria dates back to the monopoly days of original equipment manufacturers, such as IBM, NCR, and DEC who either had a local presence or made products available through local dealerships/partnerships. The microcomputer democratized the hardware industry through the entry of a new breed of suppliers, often buying and reselling through a gray market of ICT products and accessories. One effect of this was the emergence in the 1990s of a large computer trading centre in the Ikeja area of Lagos State called the “Computer Village”, which coincided with the start of a local assembly of computers, there and elsewhere in the country.
Before the liberalization and privatization of the telecommunications industry in 2003, the Nigeria Telecommunications Company (NITEL) dominated the landscape with analogue and mostly fixed telephony, which were insufficient and inefficient. The auctioning of GSM licenses marked the start of a new era in communications. Today, more than 90% of telephone and Internet usage is on GSM-powered mobile devices.
This birthed the establishment of the Digital Bridge Institute by the Nigerian Communications Commission in 2004 as a Company Limited by Guarantee which according to the President of the Institution, Engr. Prof. Mohammed Ajiya, it means the institution has to work and sustain itself.
The President, Digital Bridge Institute, Engr. Prof. Mohammed Ajiya has said that DBI has trained over one hundred and twenty thousand (120,000) staff of Universities and over seventy thousand teachers of secondary schools in ICT across the nation within seventeen (17) years of existence.
Engr. Prof. Ajiya who disclosed this on Friday while on a live program, (Eagles Morning rise) on Eagles FM 102.3 in Abuja said ICT as a set of activities that facilitates electronic means of processing, transmission, and displaying of information has the pace of changes which brought about by the introduction of various ICT trends have led to re-organization, changes in work pattern, and demand for new skills and job retraining in every profession.
“It also has a significant impact on the living condition of people worldwide”.
However, it is undeniable that the pace of changes brought about by the introduction of various ICT trends has led to significant impacts both negative and positive on the living condition of people, other sectors in the economy was neither here nor there in the past fifteen years.
Engr. Ajiya maintained that no appreciable impact was noticed in the field of technological application or automation as the problems of shortage of human resources, lack of spare parts, and ICT related equipment breakdown, and low level of electricity supply were factors Inhibiting positive impact, not until the establishment of the DBI which has served as a working bridge that closes the ICT gap between Nigerians and the ICT sector.
“The institute, Bridge Digital Institute which is modeled to have the likes of the American Institutes organogram drives the ICT sector and telecommunication sector and that’s the advent of technology.
“Digital Bridge Institute is a training institute in the ICT sector established in 2004 by the Nigerian Communications Commission, with the mandate to increase human capacity in technology.
In the wisdom of NCC, they created a campus of its institute in each of the six Geo-political zones of the nation.
We have in Lagos which is South West, Asaba South-South, Enugu, South East, Yola, North East, Kano, North West and in Abuja for North Central.
“We run several courses, both long and short-term courses. The institute also partners with some selected universities in the country.
In Kano and Lagos campuses, the institution runs National Diploma in training students in such a way that they can become internationally certified so that soon as they finish with us, they are world commodities”, he added.