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NNPC, Shell Donate ICT Centre To Bauchi University


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A state-of-the-art ICT centre was on Thursday inaugurated at the Sa’adu Zungur University (formerly Bauchi State University), Gadau in Bauchi State in the latest support for education in Nigeria by The Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited (SPDC) and its joint venture partners – Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC); TotalEnergies and Nigeria Agip Oil Company. 

The centre, wholly funded by the SPDC-operated joint venture, boasts a visually stimulating collaborative workspace where students can engage in group work and brainstorming sessions.

 Speaking at the inauguration, Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed, who was represented by the Director of ICT in the state, Hayatuddeen Babamaji said: “The landmark project would complement the efforts of the government to improve education and boost digital transformation in Bauchi State.”

 SPDC Managing Director and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor, who was represented by Director SPDC and Country Head Corporate Relations, Igo Weli, said: “The journey to establish this facility was driven by a vision to enhance critical educational infrastructure, support access to high-demand IT skills and inspire growth of the IT ecosystem in Bauchi State and Northeast Nigeria.”

 Bala Wunti, Chief Upstream Investment Officer (CUIO) of NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services described the project as “a glimpse of the positive impact of the oil and gas industry on the fortunes of our nation,” and requested  “sustained collaboration as we strive to do more.” Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of Sa’adu Zungur University, Professor Fatima Tahir, had said the centre would serve as a hub for innovation by improving   teaching and learning in the institution. 

The Emir of Bauchi and Chancellor of the university Dr. Rilwanu Adamu sent in a goodwill message thanking the SPDC-operated JV for initiating the project.

 The ICT centre has its own power and water supply, offering a chance for uninterrupted learning for students and lecturers and link up with the rest of the world real-time. To foster sustainable development, the construction strategy included upskilling of indigenous contractors with some of them playing key roles ranging from critical supplies and craftsmanship to medical services and scaffolding. 

In addition, 75 staff and students were trained in data science, embedded systems, robotics, and hardware engineering to grow in-house capacity. Sa’adu Zungur University marked the sustainability content of the project with the set-up of a tree planting club which has already planted about 1,000 fruit-bearing trees.

 The establishment of the ICT centre is just one aspect of several interventions of the joint venture in Northeast Nigeria. Early this year, the joint venture inaugurated a primary health care centre and completed two livelihood-strengthening programmes to support displaced families in Yobe and Borno states. 

The JV has also supported a broad range of initiatives in the region including education, health, shelter and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) projects.

 The support for education by the joint venture has seen the award of hundreds of secondary school and university scholarships, donation of physical infrastructure to schools and the provision of industry experience for students and lecturers from Nigerian universities through sabbatical and internship opportunities.

 

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