Telecommunications company, Etisalat Nigeria, has launched a Masters programme in Telecommunications Engineering at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.
The firm will also be sponsoring lecturers of the department of Computer and Electrical Engineering for their PhDs abroad to boost their skills and knowledge to deliver the Masters programme. The programme, known as the Etisalat Telecommunications Engineering Programme (ETEP), the first of its kind in West Africa, would be run in partnership with the ABU, Etisalat Academy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Plymouth University in the UK and Huawei.
The programme is established at the Electrical and Computer Engineering department of ABU, one of five approved universities in Nigeria accredited to offer telecommunications engineering, but previously only at undergraduate level, with input from the National Office for Technology Acquisition & Promotion (NOTAP) as part of its oversight functions.
Speaking at the event, Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr Hakeem Belo-Osagie, said the MSc. course is aimed at contributing to local manpower with regards to telecommunications technology skills. “We are delighted to champion this first of its kind project in order to promote the telecommunications industry which has been dubbed as the backbone of the new economy and plays a central role in facilitating reliable and fast information exchange,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr Steven Evans disclosed that the pool of telecoms technology experts from the ETEP will serve as possible manpower for Etisalat, Huawei and other such companies.
“The goal of this project is to produce Nigerian graduate-specialists in telecommunications engineering. Every year, about 15 to 20 students would be trained. Qualified university graduates of Electrical Electronics Engineering and related fields are eligible to apply. Etisalat will accept the enrolled students during their MSc. course for internships, to further broaden their practical understanding of telecommunications,” he said.
“Over the next five-years, Etisalat will sponsor ABU lecturers to study for a PhD in Telecommunications Engineering at the Plymouth University, UK so that local expertise can be developed for the long term sustainability of the MSc programme. We want to ensure the smooth take-off of the programme. ABU and Plymouth University have agreed on the curriculum, with significant input from Etisalat Academy. Students, who are admitted for the MSc course, will enjoy. the opportunity of learning from visiting lecturers that will include lecturers from Plymouth University and Etisalat Academy. We are set to make Nigerians technically equipped and proud,” Evans concluded.
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