Datafication: Dr Pantami Advocate Turning Universities into Skill Centers

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By: Joy Odor/AbujaThe Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has stressed the need for Federal Goverment to breach the gap between academia and Industry by turning some universities in Nigeria to datafication skill centers.Dr. Pantami made the demand while delivering 29th Convocation Lecture titledy ‘Datafication of Societ: “Economic and Security Issues in Producing and Using Public and Private Data in Nigeria at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, North Central Nigeria on Friday 1st of February 2020.The Minister during the lecture hammered that when it comes to datafication of the society, skills are more important to developing countries than academic certificates, saying if Nigerians especially the youth can acquire both skill and certificate, it would be the best option.According to him, Nigerians are more inclined in worshipping degree certificate rather than digital technology which is key in advancing countries.The Minister encourage lectures and professors to reestablished lCT centers in schools where students with crazy ideas will go and develop new innovation.”When it comes to datafication of Society, skills are important than certificate. If we can acquire both skill and certificate, it will be a better option.”Many countries are advancing to removing educational certificate qaulification honor because educational qualification without skill is misleading.“In Nigeria, we are more inclined in worshipping and honouring degree certificate but in digital technology skill is key.”We must breach the gap between the academic and industry by turning some of our universities to skill Centers by reestablishing lCT datafication where our students with crazy ideas will go and develop new innovations” Dr. Pantami laments.He called on young innovative Nigerians to utilise social media data as a source of revenue generation, explaining that extracting valuable insights from data presented an interesting prospect for embracing datafication, saying in this digital age, data is a goldmine of resources than oil.Making reference to Jeffrey Bezos of Amazon, Bill Gates of Microsoft and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook as modern day examples of those who have been able to mine data and transform the insights into fortune.According to him, with the ubiquity of sensors and Internet-of-Things, basically everything can be converted into data and datafication of objects transforms their purpose and turns the information into new forms of value.Dr Pantami said Nigeria has develop implementing policies, standards, guidelines and frameworks that will enable us enjoy the prospects of datafication while also protecting ourselves against the perils.He urged all and sundry to key into Nigeria Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for Digital Nigeria that would support all to datafication of the society.Commenting shortly after the lecture, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Engr. Umar Garba Danbatta said Nigeria is one of the lowest in cost of dats in the world and government is working on making it more affordable to all Nigerians.“Despite the fact that Nigeria has one of the lowest data prices, to be honest with you, we did a presentation to the Minister to show consistency to hit the benchmark of the day on costing a megabyte of data in Nigeria.”But that is not to say the price is where it is at the moment so the word affordability is the upper most in our mind and that is why there is an ongoing scientific cost stake, which we hope will compel telecommunication operators to lower the cost of data,”“When the study is completed and subjected to the usual stakeholder engagement with critical stakeholders in the industry, we have to come up with two things, which are price flow and price count.”The telecommunications company will be allowed to choose a price for data subject to the approval of the NCC,” Danbatta stressed.

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