Y. Z. Ya’u


As a child, one of the popular games we enjoyed was rolling over the pyramids of groundnut husks, itself a sign of a much groundnut had been harvested in the community. Of course we knew that the groundnuts left for Kano, from where they formed part of the famous Kano groundnut pyramids. These pyramids were the distinctive landscape of Kano. They adored every promotional document about Kano and became in reality the signpost of the city. We marveled at the orderly way in which they were arranged and thought there was no any other architecture that had better aesthetics with a surreal appeal.

While we took it as the sign of the prosperity of Kano, we never associated it with colonial economic architecture. We were too young for this. This could only happen years later at the university. Of course by then the pyramids had disappeared. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, there was the feeling that industrialization would now replace agriculture. Afterall, nationally we were experimenting with import substitution industrialization.

Thus, additional industrial layouts were opened up in Kano and many new industries and companies sprang up in the city. Trade unions became a feature of the city and it became easy to bestraddle students’ union activism with solidarity organizing for workers. Industrialization added more to the commercial activism of Kano and it was this vibrant commerce dominated economy of Kano that made the Governor of Kano State at the time, Abubakar Rimi, to initiate what for years we have been referring to in Kano as the Investment building. Originally planned to be a 14-storey building to be used as a commercial complex, this was later reduced to 10 storeys.

Soon we found that rather than enforcing the right to unionism, we had to organize to protect the jobs of the workers who were being thrown out to the streets as the boom of the 1970s gave way to the crisis that entered in the 1980s. By the time the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) was introduced in 1986, the signs of the collapsed of attempted industrialization in the country were visible everywhere.

Kano of course suffered greatly for this. Thousands workers lost their jobs as many factories and companies closed down. Much of the de-industrialization of the later period had to do with the crisis of power, inconsistency in economic policies nationally and a political class that was still steeped at the level of primitive accumulation. The collapse of industrialization was further compounded by the seeming crisis of commerce based economy that has characterized Kano. One of its major strains was a set of communal conflicts that were to a large degree associated with the rise of a new ethnicity that was the product of a state that failed to justify itself following the rapacious attack on the fabrics of the welfare state in the country by SAP.

The investment building was abandoned and for years virtually everyone forget its original concept. Of course successive regimes attempted to complete the building but with no clearly defined purpose. Now this build is coming to life as the first information and communication (ICT) Park not only in Kano but also in the country. Already, the interior of the building had been redesigned to meet the new purpose for which it would now be used. World class IT infrastructure is being deployed so that companies would have access to internet and other IT facilities with speed and reliability that will match any where in the world.

The transformation of the building into an ICT Park itself is a long story. It started with the adoption of an ICT Policy for the State in 2005. In 2006, the office of the then Special Adviser to the Governor on Education and Information Technology, which was charged with the responsibility of implementing the state ICT Policy, gathered another group of ICT professionals and scholars to brainstorm of how the policy could be implemented. Out of this brainstorming, it was decided that following the footsteps of leading developing countries that have taken ICT seriously such India and Malaysia, the state government should opt for a perspective that sees ICTs more as an economic sector that can generate wealth and create jobs as well as provide access to IT products and services. This requires the establishment of ICT Parks, the types that dot India, Singapore, among others.

The ICT Park is to be commissioned soon. When in operation, it will initially house over 300 ICT business and companies of different sizes. It is also expected that within the first five years of its operation, it would create thousand of jobs. Without doubt, it is both an ambitious and challenging project, ambitious because it requires resources and commitment to pull, challenging because to make Kano a preferred destination, especially for global outsourcing would require not just proactive and aggressive marketing but also the capacity to establish and implement a regime of incentives, with a long term consistency, that can attract companies elsewhere to relocate to the park while ensuring a ready market for their products and services.

The transformation of Kano from an agricultural-based commercial city symbolized by the groundnut pyramids to an ICT enclave represented by the ICT Park, is not just symbolic. It is both structural and historical. Historically, because we are moving into the information age, which is ICT mediated and dependent. In such an era, virtually all business interactions and transactions could be conducted through the internet. While the network is thus a necessary condition to which every country must have to respond to, capitalizing on the ICT sector as an economic sector is a structural choice which many countries have taken. India today, it is reported, earns more from export of ICT services and products than Nigeria does from oil.

A single high-rise ICT park building of course cannot on the popular imagination compare with the vast grounds pyramids of the 1960s of Kano. But its potential to transform the economy of the state is enormous. If properly harnessed, Kano would be on its way to an economic renewal that would make it a major a hub of the cyber space globally.

In a highly dynamic knowledge world of today, those who make the early start are always more likely to remain at the head of the race. It is this early state that Kano State must actualize. It is possible in this little piece of land, the national may learn lessons that would inform its repositioning in the information age.



Umar Farouq Uthman

On the 24th of February, 2009 the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) Team proceeded to Kazaure in Jigawa State for part of its series of enlightment and sensitization campaign of our future generations in Secondary Schools. CITAD went to Government Secondary School (GSS) Kazaure after series of surveys had been conducted by its Staff; Abdulmajid Lawal resident at Jigawa State who chose GSS Kazaure since CITAD had never been to Kazaure for any of its career talk/ICT class series. The team arrived Kazaure in the morning of 24th and made a call to its Staff who was already on ground who then arrived and together they proceeded to the School.

The CITAD team comprised of the team leader; Mal. Isyak Garba, Umar Farouq Uthman, Abdulmajid Lawal and Abdullahi Auwal. On arriving at the School, we proceeded to the Principal’s Office where he was briefed on our mission to the School. The Principal was happy to see us and immediately ordered for a class to be setup and also since they didn’t have an accommodation that could take all the students, they resolved they would select students from each class for the event.

After setting the class up and the Students were seated, the Principal lead us to the venue where the event was opened by a prayer followed by the National Anthem. The Principal then advised the students to be attentive during the course of the event, he also urged them to pass on what they have learnt to their peers, since they were not opportuned to be here. He then gave the floor to Mal. Isyaku Garba who proceeded to explain what ICT was and how it helps in the educational development of the students. After which he showed and explained to them what a Computer was, its components, their functions, types, classifications and areas where computers could be applied in human life. The students were so passionate in learning, listening attentively and asking questions. Isyaku then offered the floor to Umar Farouq Uthman who talked on Career Opportunities in ICT sector and why they should thread on the ICT line. He also urged those that intended to study other courses to incorporate IT into it. Questions were then asked to the Students and the successful ones were given CITAD’s Official magazine.

While closing the event, the Principal urged CITAD to make it an annual event for their school. He also expressed his profound gratitude to CITAD for the kind gesture.

Career Talk at GSJSS Guri, Jigawa State

By Abdullahi Isma’il

In continuation with its effort of promoting awareness about ICTs, the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), has conducted a Career Talk at Government Science Junior Secondary School (GSJSS) Guri in Jigawa State on Thursday, 5th-February-2009. The career lecture was delivered by Ahmad Abdullahi Yakasai, who led the CITAD team to the occasion. Mal. Usman Muhammad, the H.O.D. Integrated Science of the school welcomed the CITAD team on behalf of the Principal, and expressed the school happiness for being selected as one of the school that to have benefited from CITAD’s educative career lectures. He stated that he himself had benefited alot from the lecture and hoped CITAD would assist in reviving the school’s Computer Club which has died with the departure of its pioneer mentor, a corper, who has left, having completed his assignment. Mal. Usman urged CITAD to provide an opportunity in which staff and students of the school would acquire basic computer literacy and own PCs. The H.O.D. added that “our school doesn’t even have a computer teacher and almost all of us are not computer literate. Also computer education existed as part of our curriculum but it is really disheartening that it has been neglected, in both theory and practical”

Replying, Mal. Yakasai stressed CITAD’s ambition to enlighten Nigerians about ICT and provide schools, civil societies, NGO’s, libraries, and individuals with PCs under the CITAD/CAI Computer Aid program currently going on. Further, Malam Ahmad also informed them that among CITAD’s programmes is the mobile training. The mobile training is designed for schools, organizations or even individuals who are far away from training facilities. In the programme CITAD moves its training facilities and trainers to the site for the duration of the training. Malam Ahmad also said if GSJSS, Guri was interested CITAD can provide such training Guri.

While delivering the career lecture, Mal. Ahmad Yakasai described learning Computer as easy not as difficult as Daukar dumar Magaji da nishi and therefore urged the students to work hard in learning ICT knowledge and skills. “What we are looking for is that even in your matrimonial home, you should be engaged in computer activities as this would help eradicate poverty and make you self reliant. And for those of you who have the privilege to further their education you will know that ICT knowledge is of great importance as in the near future computer will dominate every aspect of human life” Ahmad concluded.

Nearly sixty students attended the lecture and seven teaching staff of the school were present at the occasion including Muhammad Ussaini, Deputy Examination Officer, Muhammad Kime, H.O.D. Islamic Studies, Mansur Isyaku, Discipline Master, Muhammad Sa’id Kaku, H.O.D. Hausa among others.


By Faruuq Umar Uthman

The ICT Career talk train had just concluded its sensitization classes at Secondary Schools in Guri and Ringim both in Jigawa State. They had hardly arrived back at CITAD, when they were told the next bus stop was Government Secondary School (GSS) Dawakin Tofa.

As part of its effort to promote the development of ICT knowledge in our Secondary Schools and encourage the choice of careers in ICT, the ICT career talk train proceeded to GSS Dawakin Tofa to sensitize its students on the 11th of February, 2009. The team from CITAD comprised of the Head of the train; Mal. Ahmad Abdullahi Yakasai, Mal. Yusha’u Sani Yankuzo, Mal. Umar Farouq Uthman and Mal Abdullahi Yakubu. After arriving at the School, they proceeded to the Dinning hall which was the venue of the event. The event started with an opening prayer by one of the students. The senior master who was the master of the event told the team to introduce themselves which they did one after the other. Mal. Ahmad, the team leader was then given the floor to do what he knows how to do best which is impacting knowledge into people. He then told the pupils the primary aim of them being here which was to sensitize them on the ICTs. He said people in the north complain of being left behind educationally, technologically and in welfare, he said we brought it on ourselves and also said there can be no sweet without sweat. Mal. Ahmad then went to talk about the importance of IT, how simple it is to be an IT Specialist and areas that computers could be used.

The lecture was generally an interactive, with the students contributing in the discussion. Questions were thrown to them and they did themselves and the Principal proud. Later on the computer parts were identified to the students and their functionionality also explained. One astonishing remark that caught my attention during the event was when the Senior Master said look at the way Mal. Ahmad was explaining, joking and teaching the students as if he is a teacher Mallam Ahmad of course is a versatile and experienced teacher who knows how to deal with pupils and also students.

Then came the time for the quiz, Mal. Yusha’u served as the Quiz Master. Three students were selected at random to answer questions and the successful ones were awarded prizes by the Quiz Master. That signaled the closure of the class.

The Principal; Mal. Dangyatuma Abdullahi then expressed his gratitude to CITAD for honoring his school with such a beneficial visit and prayed for their continued support. The Principal then went further by requesting CITAD of its assistance in training of some of its staff in Information Technology, and also that he was glad on the continual annual invitation of the School to its annual quiz competition. They also promised to take the first position since they took the esteemed position the first time they were invited, and that they have began training for the year’s competition. Mal. Umar then gave the concluding remarks on behalf of the CITAD team, while expressing his positive impression on the students who were very impressive during the class. He also promised to relay the Principal’s request to the Director of CITAD. The event was closed by a prayer from a student; Abdullahi Zubair.


The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has on Tueday, 10th February 2009 handed over computer and other computer teaching aid to two secondary schools in Kano State. The schools are Government Secondary School, Sharada and Government Arabic Girls Senior Secondary School, Tudun Wada. The donations were part of the effort of the organizations to assist schools to teach computer to their students.

Government Secondary School, Sharada was given a set of computer by Alhaji Abdullahi Nashe which Tudun Wada was given six monitors, system units and keyboards. In a brief ceremony that held at the conference hall of CITAD, the two schools were presented by their principals and staff and accompanied by some students. Presenting the computer to GSS Sharada Alhaji Abdullahi Nashe who was represented by Usman Abdullahi of Mediwat School of Computer Sciences said that the donation was in fulfillment of the promise he made during the school at the school of the 2008 Annual IT Quiz.

Receiving the computers on behalf of GSS Sharada, the Vice Principal of the School Mal. Mohammed Surajo Abdullahi thanked both CITAD and Abdullahi Nahe for available the schools with the gift. He said that the schools would make good use of the facilities. The IT Coordinator of the School Malam Nuhu Aminu who spoke at the brief handling over ceremony appealed to CITAD to assist the school train more teachers in the use of the computer.

Earlier the Principal of GAGSS Tundun Wada, Hajiya Khadija Ibrahim Gambo had also expressed her appreciation for the kind gesture CITAD had demonstrated to her schools. She said that the school at the moment has no computers and would use these facilities to start training them on computer appreciation.

In his brief remark at the occasion the Executive Director of CITAD, Y. Z. Ya’u said that the decision to support these schools was based on the efforts their respective principals have been showing. He said that GSS Sharada had never failed to participate in the annual ICT Quiz of CITAD and that in spite of the fact that it lacked computers; its performance in the competition had always been very good. As or GAGSS Tudun Wada, the ED said that the principal was the only principal who graced the CITAD/CAI scheme beneficiaries’ interactive forum and therefore deserved the gift arising from the CITAD/CSI scheme.

CITAD is an ICT-focused non-governmental organization which has offices in Kano and Dutse, and an outreach unit in Bauchi State. For more on CITAD, visit

Y. Z. Ya’u

Executive Director


The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has on Monday 2nd February, 2009 begun its ICT Business Incubators Programme with a pioneer set of 16 youth people. The sixteen were selected from the best of the 300 people who participated last year in the Microsoft/USA Government supported Employability Programme that CITAD and LEAP Africa are implementing in Kano. The ICT Business Incubator Programme as conceived by CITAD is aimed at nurturing the young people to become ICT businesses entrepreneurs. The Incubator programme consists of three components. The first is a training programme on ICT Entrepreneurship. This lasts for three month. During the period the participations are in addition to deepening their ICT skills, given training in such ICT skills as website design, video/film editing, ICT equipment maintenance among others. They are also to be couched in Small Scale Business Management and Marketing as well as in communication and negotiation skills. During this time participants are also encouraged to sit for relevant professional examinations such as those organized by the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN).

At the end of the three months, they will undergo a 3-month business internship during which they are expected to produce business plans. These business plans would be discussed with a team of CITAD business advisers and once agreed upon, CITAD would then provide the needed business support on grantorship. The beneficiaries will then at the end of the business internship set up his or her business. At this stage CITAD would provide business mentoring support, networking, professional upgrading and virtual office space for the participants. Six months following the establishment of own businesses would be used to incubate and it is expected that at the end of the year the participants would graduate to full business Entrepreneurs.

At the core of the programme is the team work and participants are encouraged to work towards setting up partnerships or cooperatives rather individual businesses. The pioneer group of 16 consists of nine (9) male and seven (7) females.

CITAD is an ICT-focused non-governmental organization which has offices in Kano and Dutse, and an outreach unit in Bauchi State. For more on CITAD, visit

Y. Z. Ya’u

Executive Director