Pursuant to its drive to link universities across Nigeria to the information and communication technology (ICT) world, SocketWorks Limited has signed a $2.5 million (about NGN350 million) agreement with International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group.
The first such initiative in Nigeria's higher education sector, the facility is to support SocketWorks' rollout of CollegePortal into select Nigerian universities. CollegePortal is a package of information and communication technologies that will provide students with the tools to become fully computer literate. IFC's loan will also enable SocketWorks to develop software and purchase computers and other hardware for Nigeria's universities. University students, faculty, and administrators will have access to a full suite of online management systems and study tools, including offshore libraries and other information sources.
The education project which the International Finance Corporation (IFC) is supporting will help to lay a strong educational foundation and arrest the declining standards of Nigerian educational system since Information and Communications Technology (ICT) clearly represents the best opportunity to help these institutions to pull together their current assets, to minimize internal handicaps, to layer on new sources of intelligence, optimize their resources, maximize their potential and increase the value of education they provide. By October, working with the Minister of Education in an initiative called, “Digital Bridge for Nigerian Schools” SocketWorks intends to introduce all Federal Government-owned schools to a thriving digital culture by deploying a bundled ICT solution that includes software, access devices, power systems, connectivity, multimedia resources and digital content.