The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), the umbrella body of all Information Technology (IT) professionals and Internet Groups in the country, has unveiled fresh plans to train one million Nigerian youths in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) skills in one year, beginning from next year.
This is just as NCS also plans to confer Professional Fellowship awards, Honorary Fellowship awards, IT Personality award on distinguished organisations and members of the society who have contributed towards the growth of ICT in the country. The awards would also be conferred on NCS members that have exhibited exemplary knowledge in ICT development in Nigeria. The Interest Groups of NCS will also present their awards within their areas. Long service awards will be given to NCS Secretariat staff who have meet the requirements and demonstrated diligence and commitmentin carrying out their functions.
They will be recognised during the 2017 National Information Technology Merit Awards (NITMA), holding today at MUSON Centre, Lagos.
Announcing the plans at a press conference in Lagos, the NCS President, Prof Adesola Aderounmu said the essence of the skills development programme and awards initiative, was to further accelerate IT growth in the country, in line with the advocacy efforts of NCS to achieve sustainable development in Nigeria through Information Technology. He said NCS would continue to promote excellence and significant impact in the IT industry, through its various initiatives.
"Our focus as a society is progress for the sector in particular and for the nation as a whole. As the acknowledged professional authority facilitating the development of an inclusive, globally competitive, prosperous and knowledge-based Nigeria, NCS is committed to recognising and rewarding outstanding hard work and excellence in accelerating IT development," Aderounmu said.
He also announced the readiness of NCS to advertise for the 2017/2018 academic year scholarship award, that is sponsored by one of its members, who is the Chairman of Zenith Bank, Mr. Jim Ovia. According to him, Ovia has again funded scholarship awards for the next academic year, just like he did this academic year. The sponsorship, which gulps N15.75 million yearly, covers 35 students studying Computer and IT related courses across Nigerian Universities at the Ph.D, M.Sc and B.Sc levels.
A breakdown of the scholarship award shows that five Ph. D students will be given N750,000 each, 10 Masters students will be given N500,000 each and 20 undergraduate students studying computer and computer-related courses in various Nigerian universities, will get N300, 000 each.
Aderounmu said Ovia has been consistent in the scholarship wards since 2015 and has promised automatic employment at Zenith Bank, to all undergraduate students under the scholarship scheme, that graduate with second class upper.
Speaking on the initiatives, the Publicity Secretary of NCS, Mr. Femi Williams, said: "We must encourage those in our environment who are using their knowledge, creativity and resourcefulness to develop local tech solutions that are so essential to the drive for socio economic, growth, recovery and development."