By Sufyan Lawal Kabo
On 17th October 2015, the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) launched a new office in Jama’are LGA of Bauchi State bringing the number of CITAD offices to five: Kano (Headquarters), Dutse, Bauchi, Azare and Jama’are, with focal offices in Katsina and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The office, which housed a computer training centre is located at Jama’are LGA Secretariat, Adamami road, Jama’are LGA, Bauchi State
The opening ceremony was held at the premises of the new office. It was attended by large number of guests of different categories ranging from students, civil servants, academicians, business men, religious clerics and traditional rulers. Notable among the dignitaries invited were:
+ Member, House of Representative, Jama’are/Itas Gadau Constituency, Hon Isa Hassan Muhammad, Tafidan Jama’are,
+ The Emir of Jama’are HRH Alhaji Ahmad Muhammad Wabi III and other title holders
+ Member, State House of Rep, Alhaji Magaji Isa, Zannan Jama’are
+ The Acting Chairman, Jama’are LGA, Alhaji Muhammad Danladi Yaba
In his opening remark, CITAD Training Coordinator, Malam Ahmad Abdullahi Yakasai, who represented CITAD Executive Director, Dr. Y.Z. Ya’u explained that the prime objective of establishing the office is to promote the use of ICT and to bridge the wide ICT gap between northern Nigeria and their southern counterparts. He explained that a common analysis report has placed most northern Nigerian states at the bottom list in ICT knowledge in Nigeria. This, he said is a challenge that requires great effort to face, else, the ICT gap connecting the industrialized south and northern part of the country may become even greater in the near future.
He added that “CITAD is addressing the need for ICT knowledge in Nigerian educational system for in this technology-driven age, everyone requires ICT competence to excel in life. I have no doubt that the establishment of the new ICT centre will facilitate learning in educational and entrepreneurial skills especially for the youth in Jama’are LGA and beyond.”
The overall aim of CITAD as an organization he said is to provide guidelines by both research and practice on how ICT could be deployed in the efforts to promote sustainable development and good governance. CITAD he said, has been carrying out educational programmes such as computer training for various groups such as children, youth, workers, community leaders, community based organizations and professional groups. “…through ICT, we believe that our region could meet with global trend.” Yakasai concluded.
In his speech, the Guest of Honour, House member representing Jama’are/Itas Gadau Constituency, Hon Isa Hassan Muhammad, Tafidan Jama’are, represented by Alhaji Magaji Isa, Zannan Jama’are, Member, State House of Rep commended CITAD for establishing a branch office and computer training centre in Jama’are. He described the effort as patriotic and praise worthy. His words: “…Permit me to use this opportunity to call on our people to embrace the use of ICT in our day- to-day activities. ICT has become the bedrock of development, which was why it has been adopted by developed countries around the world. I call on traditional rulers to mobilize people on this sector. Even as ICT faces many difficulties in northern Nigeria, there is no reason why we cannot overcome it provided it receives the needed shore up it deserves from all stakeholders”
The Emir of Jama’are HRH Alhaji Ahmad Muhammad Wabi III being represented by the Walin Jama’are HH Alhaji Abubakar Muhammad spoke last. His speech began by thanking CITAD on behalf of the entire of people of Jama’are LGA for the big achievement it brought to their community. He explained that the importance of ICT nowadays has become a necessity as it is now in everything we do especially as the internet has made the world flat by providing easy access to information. He further stated that “…Students with ICT knowledge would assist to develop the nation, making use of their experience and advancement in technology. In developed countries, education and businesses have been greatly influenced by ICT and emulating this culture will surely make us to follow suite.
To bridge the wide ICT knowledge gap between the north and the south, the Emir called on northern Nigerian governors to make Information and Communications Technology (ICT) a compulsory study across primary and secondary schools and as well provide them with necessary ICT facilities and other assistance.
Concluding his speech, the Emir made a comment which attracted big cheers and applause from the crowd: “…To launch this centre, I will be among the first batch of students to enroll for the computer training in order to call the attention of my people on the importance of ICT!”
Goodwill messages were made by other dignitaries during the occasion
Toward ending the occasion, the invited guests were taken round the building to inspect the offices, training labs and facilities. In the course, an educational movie titled Fasahar Sadarwa Don Yara (ICT4Kids) was projected for them to watch and copies of the film were distributed to them. The film was focused to provide education on ICTs for children using illustrations that spark the quest for learning ICT skills.