BY Our Correspondent-
The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) says it will collaborate with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to fight cyber crime.
Towards this end, Vice-chancellor NOUN Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu has Appointed the EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu and his Director Organizational support Dr. Aminu Gusau as course writers and Facilitators to help the University design courses that will combat internet crime.
Professor Abdalla Adamu, stated this Monday at the formal launch of Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) at the University headquarters Abuja.
Adamu added that when ACETEL becomes fully operational, the Centre among other digital learning would focus on courses that could help battle the menace of internet fraud.
“We have programmes associated with degree at ACETEL and we have programmes for those doing Masters and Phd in Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence and Management Information System (MIS). 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”.
Adamu added that “Having EFCC as a partner to the process will be a very good message to those who are using technology for other purposes. We have people called `Yahoo Yahoo’ boys that 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”.
Adamu added that the Centre being a World Bank-assisted had earmarked 8 million dollars for it’s operations 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.
Earlier, Director Organizational Support EFCC, Dr. Aminu Gusau representing the EFCC chairman at the occasion had said their organization, EFCC under Magu is requesting for a course to be introduced in the institution to fight against internet fraud and to curb the activities of “Yahoo Yahoo” boys.
“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.
ACETEL Centre Director Prof. Grace Jokhtan in her remarks said, the project which is a World Bank-assisted project in NOUN, is a grant for using technology and related solutions within the education space to enhance learning, a programme spanning four years with the possibilities of extension.
She added the activities of the centre would focus on development of digital tools and solutions, skills in software development and mobile-based applications. “The centre will also focus on research on digital policies and its main streaming in the public sector as well as building capacity with a focus on development of 21st century skills to produce digital experts in the development of cyber security tools”.
She maintained “ACETEL has a faculty comprising seasoned academics from around the world and leading practitioners in the industries”.
Jokhtan added that they were looking to develop digital expertise to drive economic growth and transformation in the West African sub-region and beyond.
Speaking also, President Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver, Canada, Professor Asha Kanwar, congratulated NOUN vice-chancellor 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.
“We share with NOUN the common goal of promoting quality education for all with the use of technology for education and we have seen NOUN grown from its early beginning to become one of the key mega universities in the Commonwealth.
“NOUN is the leader in Open and distance learning in the region and it is one of the regional centres of the Commonwealth and has played a major role in developing courses in advanced ICT skills.”
Also at the occasion was Nigerian Communications Commission, Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and mobile telecommunication companies are some of ACETEL partners.