14 June 2017

Nigeria: Ondo State Signs Tripartite MoU With Futa, Tech-Up

Akure — Ondo State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, last week signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with three institutions to make the state an ICT hub, saying it will create mass youth employment.

Akeredolu said it was in pursuit of the critical aspect of the Five-Cardinal Programmes of his administration, centred on job creation and to make all sectors ICT compliant in accordance with best practices.

The partners involved in the new enterprise signed at the Governor's Office, Akure, are: Ondo State Government, Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), and an ICT firm, Tech-Up.

According to him, the tripod partnership on technology enterprise is aimed at developing an ICT Enterprise programme named: "Akure Tech Hub", to provide sustainable means of livelihood for the teeming IT savvy youths in the state.

He revealed that the first phase would be an avenue for developing and enhancing the innate Information and Communication Technology skills in different categories of unemployed youths.

Governor Akeredolu noted that Nigerian youths have the infinite capacity to propel the world if provided with the necessary wherewithal, as the nation is blessed with talented youths who have globally outshined their counterparts in technological development. This, according to him, has greater roles to play in turning the state and the country around.

The Tech-Up representative, Joel Ogunsola, earlier said that the Akure Tech Hub was introduced to make the state capital one of the most preferred technology frontiers in Africa, following the huge talent pools domiciled in the city.

This development was, shortly, four days after the launch of FUTA's Nigerian CubeSat, whose Birds 1 Satellite was docked at the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday.

The Head, Media and Protocol Unit of the University, Adegbenro Adebanjo, who disclosed that it was eventually launched on June 3, said it was a great signal for technological prosperity in the state.

The Nigerian CubeSat, code named NigeriaEdusat-1, is designed, built and owned by FUTA in collaboration with the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Abuja, and the Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan.

"The satellite was docked at the International Space Station, ISS on Monday June 5 at 10:30 AM Nigerian Time. It is the first ever university satellite to be launched in Nigeria. From the International Space Station, the satellites will be deployed into lower orbit during the last week of June 2017.

"The major objective of NigeriaEdusat-1 is capacity building, i. e. domesticating the satellite technology in a Nigerian university, FUTA, and making the technology a common business among staff and students of the university in Nigeria for the purpose of research, resources and environmental management and sustainable socio-economic development of the nation.

"The satellite technology development in the long run shall have spill over effects on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education that is an essential tool for a country industrial development," he said.

Ibukun Adebolu, who is from FUTA's Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Nigeria's representative on the project, was involved in the structure, configuration and design of Birds Project.

According to him, "My role in the Birds' Project is Structure Design. Drawing on my background in Mechanical Engineering, I am saddled with the task of ensuring that our satellites have sufficient strength and rigidity to survive the rigorous launch and space environments.

"In order to achieve this, I have to ensure that all payload and Bus System are properly accommodated within the 10 cubic centimetre structure. I find this very challenging, because it involves a lot of optimisation and trade-offs. In the future, I hope to work more on other aspects of satellite design."

The new Vice Chancellor of FUTA, Prof. Joseph Fuwape, who was at the MoU signing event, corroborated the governor, and assured that the institution, would supply the required manpower to transform the fortunes of the state.

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