A high-profile delegation from the Presidency led by Mr Tokoni Peter Igoni, the Special Assistant to the President on Information Communication Technology (ICT) Development and Innovations, visited the Federal University Otuoke (FUO) on the 29th of November, 2023 with a clear mission to establish collaborative ties with the esteemed Vice Chancellor, Professor Teddy Charles Adias.
The focal point of this strategic alliance revolved around the Directorate of Consultancy and Institutional Advancement at FUO, with the overarching objective of ushering in a new era of enlightenment and empowerment for the University’s students. The collaboration reflects a commitment to fostering academic growth and technological proficiency, placing ICT development and training at the forefront. The envisioned symbiotic relationship between the Presidency and FUO is poised to elevate the University’s standing in the dynamic landscape of digital education.
During the visit, Mr. Tokoni Peter Igoni, expressed gratitude to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Teddy Charles Adias for accommodating the delegation on short notice and unveiled the purpose of their visit, emphasizing the President’s mandate that highlighted ICT as a core value. Drawing inspiration from President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s vision within the ‘renewed hope government,’ Mr Igoni elaborated on the mission of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President on ICT Development and Innovations, which primary aim is to catalyze progress in ICT, foster innovation, and propel the nation forward by enhancing efficiency, promoting digital inclusion, and unlocking economic growth opportunities in tandem with President Tinubu’s administration’s four-year roadmap focus on infrastructural development, digital skills enhancement, nurturing innovation, and revolutionizing e-government services.
The delegation’s mandate signifies a transformative agenda, not merely to keep pace with technological evolution but to harness its power for the prosperity and progress of the nation. It’s also symbolic of an era where the integration of education and technology becomes a catalyst for societal advancement, reflecting a shared commitment to shaping the future through collaborative efforts.
In a call to collective action, Mr Igoni said, “Through this transformative journey, we implore collaborative efforts with stakeholders, industry leaders, and international partners, as it is together that we can harness the full potential of ICT and innovations to carve out a brighter future for our nation.”
Mr Igoni emphasized a strong focus on human capacity development in his roadmap, achieved through strategic partnerships with Universities and educational institutions. The collaborative efforts have already led to the implementation of various ongoing initiatives aimed at enhancing the academic landscape. These initiatives involve the incorporation of ICT-related courses, comprehensive training, and educational modules designed to fortify the academic curriculum. The goal is to ensure that the curriculum not only keeps pace with technological advancements but also prepares students to be leaders in the evolving workforce. By integrating ICT courses, the intention is to equip students with the necessary competencies to navigate the digital realm, positioning them as drivers of economic growth in the contemporary landscape.
The SA, Mr. Igoni, expressed a shared commitment to fostering collaboration, improving educational frameworks, and empowering the next generation with the tools needed to thrive in an era defined by digital innovation. The outlined roadmap depicts a future where the synergy between education and technology serves as a crucial element for national progress.
In addition, the SA to the President on ICT Development and Innovations has worked diligently to create digital job provisions fostering an ecosystem that promotes entrepreneurship and innovation. In this vein, he has facilitated technology hubs and incubation centres where young entrepreneurs access resources, mentorship and funding to kick-start their ventures. These initiatives have helped to create job opportunities, contributing to the overall growth of our digital economy.
Mr. Tokoni Peter Igoni openly expressed pride in the strides he has already taken on the path of progress, specifically, in the domain of advocacy for the adoption of ICT at both government and private sector levels, strategic partnerships and policy recommendations, which has encouraged the integration of technology in various sectors such as agriculture, healthcare and public administration with increased efficiently and transparency in service delivery across the nation.
He however acknowledged with a measure of humility that the journey ahead was extensive, and there remained a significant amount of work to be undertaken. It was this recognition that fueled the delegation’s proactive stance in fostering collaborations with academic institutions.
Drawing a connective thread through his professional trajectory, Mr. Igoni revealed, “I’ve been a fervent advocate for ICT development, a passion that has been a constant in my career. I served as the immediate past Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor of Bayelsa State on ICT, and now find myself in the esteemed role of Special Adviser to the President on ICT. I believe this is rooted in the track records we’ve established.”
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Teddy Charles Adias, extended a warm welcome to the delegation led by the Special Adviser to the President on ICT Development and Innovations. He expressed enthusiasm about the potential collaboration, stating, “Our goal is to explore ways to extend our University’s frontiers through innovation, focusing on three fundamental areas.”
Acknowledging the importance of the visit, Professor Adias continued, “Our University is evolving, and we aspire to surpass the frontiers of the most advanced institutions in the coming years.”
Highlighting the University’s progress in ICT-based programmes, the Vice Chancellor proudly announced the addition of a new course, Cyber Security, as a BSc programme in the University. He further revealed the University’s plans to introduce programmes in Artificial Intelligence within the next two years.
“This is a pivotal moment for us as an ICT hub. We aim to evolve the University to meet the needs of tomorrow. Our vision is to bring Silicon Valley to FUO, and we are eager to collaborate,” Professor Adias declared.
Emphasizing the commitment to advancement, he mentioned the establishment of a dedicated unit for Institutional Advancement and Consultancy, led by Professor Iheoma Adekunle.
As the University positions itself for future growth and innovation, the collaboration with the Presidential ICT delegation is anticipated to bring about transformative changes in the technological landscape of the institution.
From the Publications Unit