NITDA awards 92 postgraduate scholarships for 2017/2018

National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has awarded scholarships to 92 Nigerians for Master’s and Doctorate Degrees in relevant areas of ICT and ICT Law for the 2017/2018 scholarship year.
The scholarship scheme was established in 2010 with the aim of bridging the digital divide through human capital development with emphasis on creating and supporting a knowledge-based economy.
According to a statement by the Head Corporate Affairs and External Relations Unit, Hadiza Umar, two scholars are selected from each state including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) at Master’s level, while one scholar was selected each from the six geo-political zones of the country at Doctorate level.
She stressed that the scholarship scheme is “highly competitive” as candidates were selected based on academic excellence and leadership qualities.
“Applicants go through rigorous and transparent selection process; holders of Bachelor’s degree with First Class or Second Class (Upper) Honours in any IT related field are eligible to apply for the MSc. scholarships while only lecturers in any of the higher institutions of learning in the country with MSc. in any IT related field are eligible to apply.
She explained that, “After application, shortlisted candidates sit for a computer-based aptitude test and two candidates with the highest scores from each of the 36 states and the FCT final interview for the MSc. while only one candidate per geopolitical zone is invited for the PhD scholarship.
The statement further quoted NITDA director human resource and administration department, Dr. Mohammed Idris Yelwa, as saying a total of 5,504 candidates applied out of which 2,188 sat for the computer-based aptitude test.
“Each scholar studying abroad receives an average package of 17.5 million naira per annum comprising tuition fees, personal allowance to cover accommodation, living expenses and other allowances while in-country scholars receive an average of 3.5 million naira and about 752.5 million naira is spent annually on the scheme.
The scheme has so far sponsored 341 Nigerian graduates in various ICT fields at Masters level and 42 for Doctorate Level at Universities in the UK, USA, Canada, Germany and Australia.
“A number of beneficiaries of the scheme are now in full employment while others have set up viable IT business ventures that are providing employment opportunities as well as developing globally competitive products and services, thereby making valuable contribution to the Nigerian economy,” Yelwa said.
Meanwhile NITDA has recently cleared a number of ICT Security and Systems Infrastructure Upgrade projects of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
NITDA has as part of its mandate to serveas the government’s clearinghouse for all IT procurement and services in the public sector.
The CBN projects cleared include: Enterprise Network Security – Gateway Security Project, aimed at upgrading the Bank’s network security appliances and ensures that network security appliances are highly available and provides comprehensive real-time protection against advanced threats.
Also cleared was the Intelligence Security Operations Center project that is aimed at providing a dedicated center, technology and team for continuous monitoring of the Bank’s network to prevent, detect and deal with Cyber-attacks.
Others include, implementation of a Network Access Control (NAC) Solution – a security approach designed to restrict the availability of network resources to endpoint devices – aimed at enhancing infrastructure security as well as limit potential effects from emerging security threats.
The Agency also cleared the Identity and Access Management Solution project aimed at ensuring that the right individuals access the right resources/applications at the right times and for the right reasons.
It could be recalled that the Director-General, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami had alerted the country on potential cyber-attacks likely to be experienced, targeting banking, health and other systems, power and transportation systems, as well as other critical national infrastructure.
The CBN, in its efforts towards mitigating these threats, especially in the country’s financial institutions, initiated the implementation of these projects.

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