The Information and Communications Technology Department (ICTD) was established at the inception of the University as a Department under the office of the Vice Chancellor. The idea of having an ICT Department at the inception is to facilitate achieving the University’s key mission of having an ICT driven institution.
The Department started with only six staff, but to date it has expanded to a team of ten (10) professionals with specialization across the various fields of Information Technology. It is organized to form six functional units namely as:
- Network Unit
- Hardware and Maintenance Unit
- Web/Portal Development Unit
- Student Management Information System Unit
- Training Unit
- Help Desk Unit
The Department serves as the local provider of ICT services at the University supporting all applications and systems used for academic and non-academic purposes. Network and Hardware Maintenance Units handles the end to end maintenance of the University’s network and hardware devices including the Fibre Optic, Local Area Network (LAN), Wide Area Network (WAN), Metropolitan Area Network (MAN), Wireless Distribution System Network, IP-phones, Core Network Elements, Computers and peripherals and other IT devices.
The Goal of ICT Department
To facilitate sustainable collaboration with other higher institutions and industry players at home and abroad, in delivering contemporary teaching and learning methodologies through the application of ICT that will enhance and promote modern research, development and consultancy for the advancement of value-based information systems at Sokoto State University and the host community.
The University is equipped with an ultra-modern structure cabling system both at Faculty and Senate building. A Solid fibre Optic Technology Project by Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) will soon commence that will link with the three premier Faculties and the Senate Building plan was also on ground to extend the link to University Library and e-Library under construction, with the Data Center also expected to commence construction this year while each of these buildings will independently networked over Local Area Network (LAN).
Plan was also on ground to integrate the Fiber Optic to new structures under constructions to achieve a 100% physical connectivity within the University. From 2013 to date, the University internet service was gradually transforming from a C-Band VSAT Satellite System on a shared 512kbps/2Mb bandwidth plan and was only accessible from 0900Hrs to 1600Hrs working days owing to insufficient power backup deployed by our firs notable ICT donor National Information Technology Development Agency NITDA. In the year 2015 and beyond the University is expecting to migrate from VSAT to a more robust internet service platform using Fiber/Microwave over MTN Broadband. With this development, the University is expecting to realized over 50% increase in the internet bandwidth used previously and was made to run 24/7 daily after deploying sufficient hybrid power solution.
- The Network unit of the ICTD is equipped with experienced resources that are capable of maintaining and operating the network infrastructures within the university. The staff has Fibre optic troubleshooting capacity using OTDR and Power Meter to isolate faults which occur along the Fiber Network and use modern Fibre Splicing Machine to splice and fix identified cuts.
- Web Development Unit is also equipped with highly experience Programmers that is Managing and continues to update the University Web site.
- The ICT Department maintains the University campus wide area network, operational support and maintenance of network equipment and computing devices.Provide network support for voice and data services.
- Provide users support for web and mail services.
- Maintain university domain and website.
- Provides support for the University registration / academic portal.
- Provides support for the Enterprise Solution within the University.
- Provides computer Hardware/Software and Helpdesk support services.
- Provide training workshops for staff and students.
- Participate in program for the promotion of ICT awareness within the community.
The Department is committed to promoting knowledge and understanding of ICT among the University’s students and Staff and in the wider community. Furthermore, it encourages critical thinking about the use of ICT and its importance for national development.
The ICT Department as part of its mandate, sought partnerships with the following agencies to facilitate the delivery of key ICT services in the University. Some of the major partners include:
- E - Content Knowledge and Management Limited: In the year 2014, the University migrated from manual system of registration to an online solution tagged “University Student Portal” which is powered by E-Content Knowledge & Management Limited. The University Portal allows for online payment of school fees, registration, exam processing. Plan are undergoing to upgrade to allow hostel allocation, e-Learning platform and reporting. This solution is still being used to date.
- Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF): In the year 2015, the University in collaborating with USPF a subsidiary of NCC to deliver Tertiary Institution Knowledge Centre TIKC. This project is expected to deploy Optic Fiber Cable and provide bandwidth connectivity, install ICT devices and its peripherals such as Computers, Printers Computer desk/ Chairs and Power backup.
- Google Education Academy: In the year 2014, the University entered into strategic partnership with Google as part of Google’s Education Go Digital (EGD) Program to deploy Google Apps as well as train University ICT staff and subsequently train staff and students on its use. Google’s Education Go Digital (EGD) Program was part of Google’s support to Universities in Africa through which they provide direct support to Universities to help them adopt internet tools that will enhance communication and collaboration.
Training Organized By ICT Department
The ICT Department offers ICT related trainings and refresher programs to the University Staff, Students and the host community. Some of the training conducted this year are listed below:
- Computer Appreciation Programme: Training programme was organized in-house for Examination Officers.
- Online Grading System Using Portal: How to use a new portal registration system introduced in 2014, the ICTD organized training for Lecturers, Records and Academic Officers on how to use the portal for students’ registration.
- Google G-Suite Deployment Training: ICTD is planning to organize training on how to use Google Apps. They also train some ICT Staff on the Administrative aspect. The university now enjoys a collection of free web-based apps from Google Education which include Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sites, Calendar, Classroom and a host of apps from the Google Apps Marketplace.
- The University Website: The University website is a central point of information about the University where you can find information about the faculties, directorates/units, mission and vision, latest news and links to University portal, Email and other services. The website is accessible at http://www.ssu.edu.ng and is regularly monitored and updated by experienced web developers and designers.
- The University Online Registration Portal: Is an online students’ registration portal with different modules that allows students’ fee payment, course registration, reservation of accommodation (under construction), exam processing and generation of reports.
Salim Yusha'u - M.Sc. Computer Science, B.Sc. Info. Tech (KSUSTA)
Ag. Coordinator ICT
Almustapha Abdullahi - M.Sc. Computer Science (in-view), B.Sc. Info. Tech. (KSUSTA)
Head of Portal/Web Development Unit
Karima Sadiq - MIT (UDUS, in-view), B.Eng (FUT, Minna)
Help Desk Officer
Kabiru Aliyu - HND Computer Science (SOK. POL.)
Head of Hardware/Maintenance Unit
Head of Network Unit
Asma'u Sanda Adamu - B.Sc. Comp. Sci. (UDUS)
Head of Help Desk Unit
Nafisa Garba - B.Sc. Computer Science (UDUS)
Help Desk Officer
Fatima Buhari Ridwan M.Sc. Computer Science (ABU - in view), B.Sc. Computer Science (UDUS)
Help Desk Officer