FG Commends NCC’s Commitment To Digital Skills Development Among Youths
The Federal Government has commended the dedication of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) towards growing digital skills among youths in the country.
The government noted that through the implementation of various Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skill acquisition programmes, the NCC is making a giant stride, according to a release signed by Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs at the NCC.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, and the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, gave the commendation during the inauguration of a Digital Nigeria Centre (DNC), a project executed by the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), an arm of the NCC, at the Ijesa Muslim Grammar School, Ilesa, Osun State, recently.
Representing President Muhamadu Buhari at the event, Aregbesola commended the NCC for timely and thorough implementation of the project, saying he was confident that the project will promote the connection of public secondary schools to broadband internet in Ilesa community and ultimately equip beneficiaries with 21st-century skills.
On the sideline of the commissioning, Aregbesola announced the establishment of President Muhammadu Buhari N100 million Technology Fund for Youth Empowerment. The purpose is to push the emergence of world-class technology experts.
The Minister of Interior stated that the Fund targets 2,000 youths in the next two years, who will be provided with devices for training in different areas such as software development and design, amongst others.
The Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola, who was represented by the State’s Commissioner for Innovation, Science and Technology, Dr. Babatunde Olawale, expressed the gratitude of the State Government to the Federal Government, for the initiative and particularly for inaugurating the pioneer remodeled DNC project in Osun State.
Speaking, Pantami, who was represented by the Chairman, Board of Commissioners of NCC, Prof. Adeolu Akande, also commended the NCC and USPF on the delivery of the DNC project.
Pantami stated that the Government is focused on promoting digital economy across the country and that this had informed the renaming of the Ministry of Communications to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
On the heels of the re-christening, Pantami recalled that the Federal Government emplaced Digital Nigeria-oriented policies to reinforce the focus of existing policies to accelerate the delivery of derivable benefits of the digital economy to Nigerians, regardless of their locations and circumstances.
Very central among the policies is the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, a 10-year, eight-pillar focused blueprint for actualising Federal Government’s digital economy agenda unveiled in November, 2019.
Pantami asserted that the DNC inaugurated at Ilesa was a concrete implementation of the Digital Literacy and Skills, the second pillar of NDEPS.
In his remark, Danbatta, who was represented by the Commission’s Director of Projects, Iyabode Solanke, said all the regulatory activities, initiatives, and programmes that the Commission had undertaken since 2019, in collaboration with its critical stakeholders, including its arm, the USPF, have been targeted at giving concrete expression to Nigeria’s deliberate policy to migrate to a fully digital economy.
He said the Commission achieves this by consistently committing itself to the expansion of appropriate infrastructure to enhance digital literacy and skills because of the economic and social impact of digitization on all sectors.
The NCC Chief Executive restated the Commission’s commitment to the overall objective of bridging the digital divide through the provision of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as well as broadband access to the unserved and underserved institutions and communities in the country.
Earlier, the Principal of Ijesa Muslim Grammar School, Ramota IIlesanmi, thanked President Buhari-led Federal Government for the project, saying that it will go a long way in meeting the ICT needs of students and residents of the city.
The DNC, formerly known as School Knowledge Centre (SKC), is one of the projects in the Access Programme framework of the USPF, conceptualized to promote the availability and utilisation of ICT and resources of the Internet in teaching and learning in public schools in underserved, unserved and rural areas.