From Umar Dankano, Yola
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in collaboration with the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) have organized a two day workshop on information and communication Technology (ICT) utilization and sustainability to critical stakeholders in the North East zone.
Executive Vice Chairman and chief Executive of the Commission (NCC), Engineer Umar Garba Danbatta in his welcome address said the workshop was designed to enrich the experience of their implementing partners especially community Resource centre managers,School knowledge centre Desk officers as well as other stakeholders interested in deepening ICT penetration.
Engineer Danbatta stated yesterday at workshop in Yola that the move was to ensure that Nigeria is not left out in the new global world which is dependent on ICT.
According to him ,opinion leaders including; community leaders government functionaries and civil societies have also been invited considering the belief to achieve sustainability in rural information and communications technologies (ICT) projects.
“The development goals must align with the real needs of beneficiaries.
“To promote innovation,investment,competition,and consumer empowerment in and on top of the communication platforms of today and future-maximizing the power of information and communications technology to grow our economy,create jobs and enhance national competitiveness through the deployment of broadband infrastructure to facilitate rollout of broadband services that will unleash opportunities and higher network quality of service for all Nigerians .
“The agenda is factored upon a tripod of Availability of the service,Accessibility of service,and Affordability of service.The triple A,are the hallmarks of universal access.
“Our gathering today is in furtherance of achieving the strategic vision”.Danbatta highlighted.
He added that the workshop would enhance the use of ICT for development (ICT4Dev) by facilitating and supporting the development,adoption and usage of technology innovations for improvement in Agriculture,Health care,Education and Security amongst other socio-economic activities.
Earlier in his remarks,Secretary,Universal Service Provision Fund,USPF,Mr.Ayuba Shuaibu explained that the Federal government had launched the economic recovery and growth plan(ERGP)2017-2020 with the policy objectives of developing sufficient efficient,affordable and critical ICT infrastructure and to encourage rapid ICT penetration among all socio-economic levels and increase the current cove rayon the active mobile broadband subscription per 100 from 20:95 to 50per cent in 2020.
Shuaibu said to achieve these objectives USPF will continue to implement programs to reduce the country’s digital poverty status.
“Digital poverty which is the lack of means with which to access ICTs,the lack of skills to use the ICTs and inadequate information about the usefulness of ICTs,incorporates a demand component (the service can not be afforded),a capability dimension (the skills to use the service are not available),and a supply component(the infrastructure to deliver the service is not in place)”.shuabu stressed.
He added that,the intention of USPF in the establishment of public Access Venues(PAV)such as CRCs and SKCs shall be pursued for the delivery of e-initiatives and other services to provide universal access to information and communication services in an un-served areas,link communities,facilitate trade and commerce,and empower rural communities socially,economically and politically.
“We shall continue to pursue our mandate to make ICTs available,accessible and affordable in the unserved areas in Nigeria,” he said.