In furtherance of its aim to develop indigenous manpower in the Nigerian telecommunication industry, fastest growing telecommunication company, Etisalat Nigeria, has rolled out another set of postgraduate students of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria as part of its 2015/16 Etisalat Telecommunication Engineering Postgraduate Programme (ETEPP). The course intakes were unveiled during the closing ceremony of the 2016 edition of the internship programme held in Abuja recently.
The internship is part of the Etisalat Telecommunication Engineering Postgraduate Programme (ETEPP), a Master’s Degree course in Telecommunication Engineering at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria which is a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative of Etisalat. This program provides students with the opportunity to gain practical knowledge through a month-long internship stint with various departments of the technical division of Etisalat Nigeria.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Vice President, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Etisalat Nigeria, Ibrahim Dikko explained that the internship programme which commenced in 2013 is a flagship Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of Etisalat Nigeria designed for students to gain practical experience in the field of telecommunication by undergoing a month-long work experience in various departments of the engineering section of Etisalat, to augment and buttress their course work in school.
“The objective of this program is to drive and improve the quality of local manpower in the telecommunication industry by adding practical knowledge to the theory students have learnt in the school. Through this initiative, Etisalat is grooming local telecommunication engineers that would take the industry to the next level in the next 10 to 15 years,” he said.
On his part, Stephane Beuvelet, Etisalat Nigeria Chief Technical Officer, said Etisalat is proud to be involved in the telecommunication industry skill development initiatives.
“ETEPP and this internship are very important initiatives, designed by Etisalat to ensure that these students become assets to Etisalat and the telecommunication industry in future. This internship is a major step towards the development of rounded engineers that would excel in both theoretical and field work”, he added.
Beuvelet further explained that Etisalat took the challenge of raising and improving local manpower in the telecommunication industry in Nigeria after observing a gap in Nigerian universities offering courses in telecommunication engineering in the country.
“We are working in partnership with Plymouth University UK, the Etisalat Academy, UAE and the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,” he said.
“In addition to the Students Masters’ programme, lecturers of the Ahmadu Bello University are also sponsored for their Ph.Ds in Plymouth University UK, while three best students of ETEPP will be at the Etisalat Academy in the UAE,” he added.
Commending Etisalat for the good gesture, Head, Department of Computer Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Dr. Yusuf Jibril said “this CSR initiative of Etisalat has impacted much on our department and our students in many ways. Under this initiative Etisalat and Huawei Technologies donated state of the art equipment to the department, exposed our students to the most recent practices in the telecommunications industry and also sponsored some of our lecturers for their PhD in Plymouth University UK. We really appreciate this good gesture and hope other telecommunication companies can emulate this.”
One of the interns of the Etisalat Telecommunication Postgraduate Programme (ETEPP), Kelechi Okogwu, an M.Sc. student of Telecommunication Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria expressed his appreciation to Etisalat. According to him, the initiative presents a wonderful opportunity to anyone interested in developing a career in telecoms engineering, with the course content well thought-out between the faculty and Etisalat.
“The internship programme reinforces our class room knowledge; in fact we have benefited so much starting from the basics of telecommunication technologies, to the current developments in the industry, as well as a peep into the future of telecommunication engineering,” he said.