A tech hub in Ikot Ekpene, Akw Ibom State, FutureLabs has received a seed capital of N2 million for equipment upgrade and training.
Barr. Onofiok Luke, member representing Etinan/Nsit Ubium/Nsit Ibom federal constituency, made the donation on Tuesday 11th January during the first anniversary of the company.
Barr. Luke who was the keynote speaker at the maiden anniversary of the tech hub said the donation is to assist the hub get more equipment and train more young Akwa Ibom people who are living in rural communities in the State.
He noted that knowledge of ICT and access to the internet as well as usage was still low among the youths living outside the State capital.
He said more young people who live in the outskirt of the State capital must be given opportunity to acquire ICT skills in order to close the gulf in access and knowledge of digital technology between youths living in the state capital and those in rural areas.
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Speaking on the topic “The role of policy in National Development: Startups as case study”, Barr. Luke said the state government must be intentional about development of tech ecosystem in the state, increasing access to broadband internet services and connecting more youths to opportunities in the tech sector.
He emphasized the need for basic and proficiency trainings on ICT for youths and the full integration of ICT education into the school curriculum.
Barr. Luke posited that the goal of the future for Akwa Ibom State should include completing the Ibom Science Park and building an Institute of Telecommunication Engineering where Akwa Ibom youths can be trained to provide engineering solutions to needs in the telecom sector, which he said has the potential of employing a great number of young people strolling the street without jobs.
While urging youths in ICT in the state to come up with contributions that will enrich the National Institute of Technology Development Agency Bill currently before the National Assembly, Luke suggested that part of their advocacy should include stronger copyright protection for tech products.