National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, says it will collaborate with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for a successful takeoff of the African Centre on Technology, Enhanced Learning, ACETEL, a unit of the institution.
Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Professor Abdalla Adamu, who said this in Abuja on Monday at the inauguration of the ACETEL School, noted that when fully operational, the centre among other digital learning would focus on courses that could combat internet fraud.
Adamu said the World Bank had earmarked 8 million dollars for the running of the centre, which is the first of its kind in West Africa where Doctor of Philosophy and Master’s Degree on courses related to ICT would be obtained.
“We have programmes associated with degree and we have programmes for those doing Masters and Phd in cyber security, artificial intelligence and Management Information System, MIS.
“But courses on internet fraud are targeted for just few months that people can read quickly and understand the basics of modern world technology and EFCC will be a facilitator on this.
“We have people called “yahoo yahoo” boys are internet scammers who scam people and get a lot of money from them and do all sorts of things with it and it is critical to include EFCC as partners to develop a short course on ethical use of internet.
“Having EFCC as a partner to the process will be a very good message to those who are using technology for other purposes,” Adamu said.
Meanwhile, acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu had earlier requested that such course be introduced in the institution to fight against internet fraud to curb the activities of perpetrators of such crime popularly called “Yahoo! boys.”
Magu, represented by Dr. Aminu Gusau, director, Organisational Support, EFCC, identified NOUN and its ACETEL School as a critical stakeholder in the fight against crime in Nigeria.
“Institutions of learning like this one is the best place to start engaging youths as partners in the fight against crime.
“Whether we like it or not, NOUN and the ACETEL are real stakeholders in this fight against corruption and we are trying to see the best ways we can collaborate,” he said
In his speech director in charge of the ACETEL, Prof. Grace Jokhtan explained that the project which is a World Bank ICT project in NOUN and said that results of the programme were expected in four years.
She said the activities of the centre would focus on development of digital tools and solutions, skills in software development and mobile-based applications.
He added that they were looking to develop digital expertise to drive economic growth and transformation in the West African Sub-region and beyond.
President, Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver, Canada, Professor Asha Kanwar congratulated the NOUN VC for the inauguration of the ACETEL and said that they would continue to use technology to expand learning in Nigeria and other 52 member countries.
“Nigeria is a very active member of the Commonwealth and provides both financial and intellectual support, and we have enjoyed the cooperation of several institutions in Nigeria which NOUN is one of them,” Kanwar said.
NAN reports that Nigerian Communications Commission, Nigerian Universities Commission, NUC, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, and mobile telecommunication companies are some of ACETEL partners.