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UNILAG students develop app to improve communication, security

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A group of students of the University of Lagos has developed an app known as `Lagmobile’ and a campus life website, in a bid to improve communication and security within the university community.

The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe said at the launch of the app on Friday in Lagos that a student of French Language was in the group.

“We threw up this challenge open to all of students cutting across all the departments and faculties when we thought about improving communication as well the level of security on our campus.

“I am very proud to let you know that what we are launching here today was developed by students of this institution.

“This app was designed in such a way that if, for instance, there is a case of rape, kidnap, cultism, all the person affected needs to do is to click a button on his or her telephone.

“Once this is done, probably accompanied with a short message, wherever such the person is, signal will be sent to the right quarters for an urgent intervention.

“Again, the beauty about this app is that if any student is having any academic problem, such a student can reach the appropriate quarters through this same app, and information concerning it will be conveyed equally,’’ he said.

Ogundipe said that the students of the institution were also set to develop another app that would serve as a map within the university.

He  said that the app would  be launched in two week’s time.

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“The essence  is to direct or inform visitors and students how to reach whoever they want to see at various locations within the university without necessarily asking questions around.”

He said that the android for the app had already been done and the IOS almost completed.

“We are migrating to a situation whereby we will have things all over the campus to make life easy for our students as well as visitors to the university.

“This development is going to push up the visibility of the university because  students are directly involved.

“These students are bloggers, and the university is encouraging them in this regard as well as supporting them as much as possible.

“We want to develop students who will not say they are thinking outside the box. We want students who will say there is no box in the first place, that is, there is no limitation – those who will  just soar like the eagle in achieving their dreams.”

Ogundipe said that the university would continue to strive in exposing its students to artificial intelligence, data processing, large data processing and others, in order to make them globally competitive.

The Acting Director of the university’s  Centre for Information Technology and System, Dr Victor Odumuyiwa, said that the development of the apps and design of the website was part of the vision upon which the institution’s ICT goals were being driven.

According to him, the university was projecting ubiquitous connectivity, which enables any student or registered member of the university to be able to connect with his or her devices.

He said that internet should not be a problem to anyone within the university community because it was a major communication tool that should be there at all times in the digital age.

According to him,  efforts are in place to fully realize this any moment from now.

“We have been able to network several places that we have over 60km of fibre cable laid round the campus.

“We are seriously working on this and pushing for more support. We are looking forward to partnering with people who have passion in developing education to come forward and support us by donating more access points,’’ he said.

Odumuyiwa, also  Senior Lecturer in the university’s Department of Computers Science, also said that another major goal of the centre was to create services and be mobile ready.

“The present and future are mobile,” he said.

He said that creating a smart way of rendering mobile  services for students informed the development of Lagmobile.

“The Lagmobile app that we just launched is basically for students to view information, send complaints as well as see events happening on campus. It is highly interactive.

“They can as well use the app to see their results as well as see the programme they registered for.

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“This device is a panic app for the purpose of reporting incidents such as fire, abduction and others instantaneously.

“The campus life website was developed by students to share experiences on campus as well as connect and communicate among themselves,’’ he said.

The don added that the university through the centre was working hard to become a technology hub.

According to him, the university intends to train students on emerging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) and cyber security.

He said that there was an ongoing week- long training of about 100 students by a centre known as Data Science Boot camp in collaboration with a university from Benin Repuplic.

“The idea is to see how we can assist them by working on and developing their ideas, as well as see how we can incubate these ideas. All we are doing is to develop and encourage their competence in technology.

“If we are able to use that to create solutions that can become patented or used to set up a company, then we push them to the appropriate quarters.

“We must take steps in pushing the continent to take its destiny especially as it concerns technology.

“Africa needs to move faster because the fourth revolution is here and we must not let it slip.

“We, on our part in this university, are not allowing anything to chance, as we are already partnering with a good ambassador that wants to assist,’’ he said.

Ehimisan Lanumi, a second year French Language Education student of the university who was part of the success story of Lagmobile, said the initiative was a major breakthrough.

She said that with Lagmobile, life and learning on campus would have a new beginning and meaning to students.

“ICT has been my passion and I enjoy doing what I am doing here,’’ she said (NAN)