Local capacity building was given a significant boost at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun (FUPRE) on the 20th of April 2022 with the commissioning of a multi-purpose 100-seater ICT Centre.
The FUPRE ICT Centre is an ultra-modern facility which houses a Wi-fi lounge, computer laboratories, conference rooms, a lecture hall, office spaces, and equipment rooms. The facility is fully furnished, and equipped with modern ICT infrastructure, which include SMART Interactive Boards, 100 computers with licensed software, a customised e-Learning Portal for access to online courses and training among other state-of-the art fixtures.
The Centre will promote teaching and learning of ICT education and will provide a conducive learning environment to scholars and researchers alike. With its frontline technological facilities, the Centre will give students, lecturers, and researchers the resources and connectivity to keep them in step with global ICT practice and advancement.
In addition to its ICT functionality, the Centre has been deliberately designed by the Project Sponsors (NNPC & SNEPCo) and the Contractor (The Offshore Lab) to promote good citizenship, value orientation and energy sustainability through the integration of features such as:
- Dedicated cycling infrastructure with bicycles donated to the Centre;
- An outdoor collaboration garden with canopy trees, branded seats, wi-fi access and recycling bins;
- Trees and gardens including 28 king palm trees, 10 canopy trees, flower beds and grass around the building’s perimeter
- Bold signage and access strategy including – disabled parking area and ramp access, pedestrian routes, speed limit signs, safety and directional signs etc.
The ICT Centre is also equipped with a 3D Printer, and associated academic materials, to introduce the University’s students to advancements in the additive manufacturing space.
According to Emeka Obiwulu, CEO of The Offshore Lab (Project Contractor):
“Our saturated labour market struggles to cope with the 600,000-plus graduates produced yearly by Nigeria’s tertiary institutions. This is a large army of energetic youth that could either end up as national assets or national liabilities, depending on how well the energy and potential of this group is harnessed.
Transformational projects as the FUPRE ICT Lab have therefore become very necessary to address some of these national issues, through the provision of infrastructure, equipment and learning required to incubate tomorrow’s tech entrepreneurs, engineers, freelancers, and employers of labour.
There is also the fact to consider, of the rapidly growing tech space (and correspondingly growing investment potential) in Nigeria, which requires deliberate strategies to adequately upskill the resource pool necessary to support and sustain the growth of this sector. The ICT Centre is a perfect material example of such a strategy.
My team and I are grateful to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and to Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), for the opportunity to serve and deliver a project of such strategic importance”.