By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Government has announced plans to build a Microsoft Centre that will cater for the 21 century needs of the state and entire Nigeria in Information and Communication Technology ICT).
The state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel who announced this in Uyo said the Centre will provide facilities for training of youths in (ICT) as part of efforts to boost manpower development in the critical sector of the economy.
Emmanuel said that the decision of the state government was coming as a replacement for the abandoned Ibom Science Park in which billions of naira had been sunk into the project by former administration in the state but which had not been completed.
He explained that the former concept of the Science Park and the equipment procured for services had become obsolete given the fast speed in technological development.
The governor expressed satisfaction with the improvements recorded by the state government in the quality of education offered in primary and secondary schools from the results in public examinations.
He said the average score was above 56 percent in science, mathematics and English Language adding that the target is to attain 80 percent in the next few years.
The Governor assured that steps have been taken to ensure that students acquired technical skills in computer proficiency by encouraging the use of facilities at the E-library while contacts have been made with the Microsoft Corporation of USA.
According to him, over 346 schools have been renovated to provide a conducive learning environment adding that with contacts already made, the training of artisans and technicians have also been undertaken at difference centres in the state.
The governor also disclosed that his administration has succeeded in securing the support of a major oil company in the building of the best Engineering faculties at the University of Uyo to train youths while another skill acquisition centre was being built at Mkpat Enin local government area.
He explained that the building of capacity in ICT would boost interest in various skills that are urgently needed in the industry.