The Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, on Tuesday launched a centre of excellence in software engineering built and equipped at a cost of N600 million. The construction of the N450 million building housing the centre was funded by Skye Bank Nigeria Plc.
Procurement and installation of ICT equipment at the centre, valued at $3 million (N450 million), was funded through the Step B/World Bank Project.
The institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bamitale Omole, who inaugurated the centre, said that the mission of the university with regard to ICT was to harness modern technology for effectiveness and efficiency.
“The problem of large classes will soon be a thing of the past as lecturers and students can interact real time online,’’ he said.
He appealed to financial institutions, the private sector as well as the institution’s alumni to take a cue from the gesture of Skye Bank.
In his remark, the Group Managing Director of Skye Bank, Mr Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, said that the decision of the bank to build the centre was in line with the organisation’s philosophy.
“It is our desire to support causes that are of benefit to aid the extension of the frontiers of education.
“The application of information technology in our education has assumed a more important dimension as it confers several advantages.
“It is expected that the ICT centre will enhance the operational efficiency of the university,’’ he said.
Prof. Rowland Ndoma-Egba, Pro Chancellor of the university, commended Skye Bank for the gesture, saying the desire of the university council was to leave the institution better than it met it.
“With this magnanimity from Skye Bank, the university should maintain its lead in ICT education with a view to developing software that is technologically advanced, but purposely indigenous.
“OAU is coming to a point where we should be able to produce indigenous computers, IPADs, IPODs and other gadgets to address the realities facing Nigeria,’’ Ndoma-Egba said.
The facilities at the centre include a tele-presence centre, cloud computing laboratory, software studio and students’ internet access laboratory.
The centre can accommodate 700 students at a time.