INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY TRAINING CENTRE, OWERRI, IMO STATE
Information Technology is the processing and distribution of data using computer hardware and software, telecommunications, and digital electronics. Therefore, it is concerned with the use of technology in managing and processing information. Most times, Information Technology (IT) is also known as Information and communication Technology (ICT). Information and communication technologies (ICT) also refer to several forms of information exchange between two or more computers through any of the several methods of interconnection. These technologies provide speedy, inexpensive and convenient means of communication.
The adoption of these technologies in many countries by different sectors of the economy have been found to have direct positive impact on the economy and have led to more rapid acceleration of development in these countries. In Nigeria however, preliminary investigations show that only a few organizations,
individuals, institutions, companies and states have adopted the advantages of IT or ICT to tackle their various problems of unemployment, low productivity, poverty, illiteracy, insecurity, under-development and inadequate information.
The above statement is as a result of the inadequate spaces and insufficient places where Information Technology Training can be acquired in Imo State at a very
reasonable cost. The existing Information Training Facilities do not offer functional, safe, convenient, comfortable and cheap cost for the people of the state to take
advantage of. Some of these training centers are organized in makeshift buildings which lack adequate ventilation, circulation, lighten, parking spaces and convenience for the users. Also, the high cost of Information Technology Training program and the proliferation of sub-standard computers and it accessories are some of the research problems identified militating against the acquisition of Information Technology Training in the state.
The above findings thus motivated me to propose for the establishment of Information Technology Training Center in Owerri, Imo State which is in consonance with the agenda of the state government to use Information Technology to increasing employment for graduates and non-graduates of Imo State, to equip the youths with marketable skills that will make them self-reliant, to reduce the restiveness among the youths, to provide affordable computers and its accessories and also to make the acquisition of Information Technology Training very affordable for all manners of people of the State.
Thus, this research work seeks to explore and highlight the importance of a befitting Information technology Training Centre in Owerri, Imo State and in the world today to the reduction of unemployment among the youth, illiteracy, insecurity, poverty and under-development which is the bane of the third world countries.
1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In the world today, it is obvious that Information technology (IT), within a very short time, has become one of the basic building blocks of modern society and the ngine of all other developments. The understanding and mastery of the basic skills and concept of Information Technology as part of the core education, alongside reading, writing, and numeracy have been embraced and regarded by many advanced countries leaving most of the Third World countries behind, of which Nigeria is not an exception. The transformation of all facets of the world by ICT can no longer be neglected as its impact in the social, cultural, economic, religious, industrial and technological developments are very enormous.
With the general unemployment problems in Nigeria, IT as part of Entrepreneurship Training is the surest way of having a sustainable means of livelihood by our teeming youths both graduates and non-graduates. Sometime in 2006, the then Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili raised alarm that many of Nigerian graduates are unemployed, underemployed or unemployable (Tribune, 2008). Recently, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo (Tribune, 2008), also submitted that a large proportion of Nigerian graduates who apply for jobs these days are simply unemployable. The population of Nigeria, according to the National Population Commission (NPC) figures stands at over 140, 000000 and about 60% of this number is made up of youths and many of them just idle away their time with nothing to do.
With the institutions of learning in Nigeria churning out graduates of various levels and degrees on a yearly basis, a rising trend has seen these graduates coming out of the nation’s universities and polytechnics to join those who graduated ahead of them but without any means of livelihood for years. Information Communication Technology (ICT) can be a veritable tool to tackle this rising unemployment rate in Nigeria (Nkanga, 2008). Hence, the dire need for a standard Information technology Training Centre in Owerri, which will incorporate a Computer Training, a Sales and Business Center, is very timely when one considers
the unemployment situation in Nigeria which has become a big dilemma.
However, many observers believe that the government is not providing the necessary proactive measures to confront this challenge of unemployment. It is quite evident that Nigeria at present lacks innovation, capacities and capabilities in information technology (IT) management and hardware maintenance. This notwithstanding, the country has been and will continue to import and use a wide range of durable consumer electronics, computers and telecommunication
equipments. It must therefore begin to accumulate the capabilities to repair and maintain these vintages. Indeed, if Africa and Nigeria in particular will not be left
behind in global trade and development, it must be able to master certain basic capabilities in ICT (Kajogbola, 2004). Hence, with the enormous contributions of Information technology today and the rising awareness of its effects, on everyday life, no one should be left behind or in doubt that it is the only way forward.
The awareness of its impact in the nation today is at all-time high and the spread of mobile technology in the country today has aided its spread. The use of Information technology cuts across all the segments of today’s economy, be it banking, oil and gas, media, law, insurance, shipping, education, Architecture, etc. Today in Nigeria, terminologies like e-learning, e-payment, epassport, e-ticket, e-banking etc are part of today’s vocabulary and anyone who does not come onboard will be left by the way side. Expectedly, many corporate concerns particularly on the ICT sector have taken up this challenge even though the outcome still looks as if nothing is happening, owing to the huge population of the country and the hopelessness of government to fashion out an encompassing way to tackle the problem of the power sector which fuels the IT sector.
Besides, the current prices of personal computer and its accessories is an area the centre will look into to ensure that World Class computers are made available to the people of Imo State at an affordable rate. This will go a long way to assist young people to have access to computer to set up their own Small Scale Business with little or no assistance. Information Technology (IT) can be defined as the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware. IT deals with the use of electronic computers and computer software to convert, store, protect, process, transmit, and securely retrieve information (Wikipedia, 2008). Today, the term information technology has come to involve many aspects of computing and technology.
The Information Technology Training Centre proposed by this research will provide facilities that will be convenient for learning and exchange of ideas in a functional and safe environment. The training facilities must be flexible and technologicallyadvanced learning environments that is safe, healthy, comfortable, aestheticallypleasing, and accessible. It must be able to accommodate the specific space and equipment needs of the training program. Support spaces geared toward adult needs, such as a business station that allows students to carry out some business functions during their training sessions, must be seamlessly integrated into the facility as well. Imo State with its highest number of student’s enrolment in the tertiary institutions invariable has the highest number of graduates that are unemployed.
This Centre will equip them with the necessary skills to be self-reliant and the knowledge to succeed whatever they want to do after the training very sustainable.
The major inspiration to embark on this Project as Thesis Report topic is the keen desire to make our society a conducive place for all and sundry with a well designed and planned structure that will further the acquisition of IT Training. This can be achieved with the provision of employment for all manner of people with different level of qualifications. It is clear the IT training do not require high qualification for the training of the middle level manpower in ICT. The Author was further motivated by the a recent publication by the Imo State Government (Vanguard, 2008) through Chief Nick Amaefule, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Poverty Alleviation, that the Government has concluded arrangements to establish three skill acquisition centers in each of the three senatorial zones. The centers would recruit, train and re-train unemployed youths to acquire skills in Information Technology for a maximum of six months.
He said the scheme would help to address the mass unemployment, restiveness and “some misdirected youthful exuberance”. Furthermore, the training of young Entrepreneurs will further provide more employment for the youths. The other motivations for this project include solving the following problems:
a) The increasing unemployment of graduates and non-graduates in the country.
b) The reabsorption of retrenched workers who mostly happen to be the youths.
c) To equip the youths with marketable skills that can make them selfreliant.
d) To empower the youths with ICT to reduce the restiveness in the country.
e) To provide a place where an affordable computer and its accessories can be procured at a very reasonable prices.
f) The provision of affordable IT training at a much reduced rate to avoid the exploitation of Nigerians by some quack training centers.
g) To make our youths leaders and entrepreneurs in the IT sector.
h) There will be multiplier effects on other development sectors.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The main aim is to provide a facility that is safe, aesthetic, functional, conducive and affordable for both man and machines to work in. The Training Centre must be able to meet the demand of training environment as well as very safe for the protection of valuable components of computer. Thus, the objectives are:
a) To create a highly Information Technological infrastructure with environment that will meet standards while maintaining its local significance.
b) To provide employment for graduates and non-graduates
c) To create a structure that will meet modern standard for IT learning
d) To improve the productive capacity and market skills of our youths
e) To make the youth self-employed
f) To provide high-quality, affordable PCs and IT accessories. Affordability is a critical project objective.
g) To increase the youth’s capacity to be leaders and entrepreneurs
h) To encourage dignity of labor in the lives of every Nigerian
i) To make Nigerian IT professionals to be compliant and make effective use of computers in their various disciplines within the shortest possible time.
Furthermore, the project shall consider achieving a structure that would among others:
a) Provide adequate storage spaces and facilities for equipments, both for items that require privacy.
a) Provide office spaces to accommodate the administrative and corporative activities of the Information Technology Training Centre.
b) Provide conducive classroom environments, workshop and media rooms, conference rooms, seminar rooms with efficient computer workstations to facilitate ICT learning.
c) Provide a business centre in the training centre that will help make the stablishment self-sustaining.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY TRAINING CENTRE, OWERRI, IMO STATE
1.4 STATEMENT OF ARCHITECTURAL PROBLEMS
In the planning and design of a structure that will house an Information Technology Training Centre as well as incorporate Computer Sales Department and Business sections the following Architectural Problems were identified.
a) In adequate spaces for conducive learning
b) Parking problem
c) Space Program integration
g) Ventilation and lighting
h) Flexibility of spaces