The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, yesterday stressed the need for agencies under the ministry to make grants available for research activities in the country. Pantami made this known during a visit to his office by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund’s (TETFund) Research and Development (R&D) Standing Committee’s team on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Digital Economy in Abuja.
While commending TETFund for putting the R&D committee in place to entrench a knowledgebased economy and tackle developmental challenges, the minister disclosed that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had both instituted research grants and encouraged other parastatals to do same. He urged the TETFund R&D Sub-Committee on ICT and Digital Economy to focus more on encouraging collaborations between academia and industries as well as promote skills development.
He said: “There is a huge gap between the academia on one hand and industries on the other, that gap brought about our challenge, what we usually called unemployment, which to me is not unemployment, but unemployability.
“If you look at the number of our graduates, you will be worried, but in real sense you will discover graduates usually graduate with only theory, the practical is not sufficient, this is the gap, they don’t have enough skills that will prepare them for an opportunity immediately. The Coordinator, TETFund R&D Sub-Committee on ICT and Digital Economy, Prof. Bashir Galadanchi, gave assurances that no stone would be left unturned to ensure Nigeria was placed on a smooth path to a knowledge-based economy.