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NCC approves N1billion Digital Park for Ibadan, other ICT projects in Oyo

*The Nigerian Communications Commission says a digital park is planned to boost digital skills acquisition, promote innovations, provide jobs for the teeming Nigerian youths, and support the overall digital transformation agenda of the Federal Government

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

In line with the Federal Government’s plan to activate Digital Parks across the geopolitical zones of the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has indicated its readiness to commence the construction of a N1billion Digital Park, in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, and other Information and Communications Technology  (ICT) projects across the state.

ConsumerConnect reports the telecoms sector regulatory Commission’s approval also embraces other ICT projects for schools in Saki, Ipapo, Eruwa and Otu areas of the state.

Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman of Board of Commissioners of NCC

The contract for the physical structure has been awarded, and the budget of N500million for the equipment has been approved for the 2022 fiscal year.

RELATED: NCC Board Chairman Facilitates Upgrade Of Wireless Internet Access At LAUTECH, Poly Ibadan

Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman, Board of Commissioners of NCC, disclosed this during a meeting with youth leaders from across the state, who had an end-of-the year session  with him in Ibadan.

The Digital Park is one of the four approved by the country’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) as part of efforts at facilitating the Nigeria Digital economy.

The four Digital Parks are located in Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Katsina, Gombe and Ibadan respectively.

Besides that of Ibadan, the three other Digital Parks are to be located in the three other geopolitical zones of the country.

RELATED: NCC Board Chairman Facilitates Upgrade Of Wireless Internet Access At LAUTECH, Poly Ibadan

It was also learnt that the physical work of Digital Park is projected at N500million each while the equipment for each is also projected to cost another N500million each. The projects are scheduled for completion and activation 2022.

Prof. Akande further said when the new Digital Park in Ibadan is completed, the Park would boost digital skills acquisition among youths, promote innovations, provide jobs for the teeming Nigerian youths, and ultimately, support the overall digital transformation agenda.

Benefits of Digital Parks in Nigeria

The Digital/ICT Park, according to NCC, is to deliver the following benefits among others:

i) Provide a Commercial Hub for ICT that will promote entrepreneurial activities in ICT and facilitate smart city deployment across the Digital Industrial Complex

ii) Provide Innovation Labs and Digital Fabrication Laboratories (Fablabs) for use by ICT innovators and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into products and prototypes

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iii) Provide a safe space for incubation of innovative applications and promotion of startups for youths with innovative skills who are already occupied in the developments of various applications

iv.) Facilitate the availability and accessibility of ICT services and promote their usage across the country

v.) Build capacity for the teeming population of youths in the area of digital skill acquisition and innovation by complementing existing initiatives geared towards accelerating socio-economic transformation of Nigeria in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy

RELATED: NCC EVC Urges Nigerian Youths On Proper Application Of Digital Skills, ICT Tools

vi.) Leveraging on broadband network being deployed by NCC across the country for the Development of Innovative Technologies in software development, incubation, and hardware development through the ICT order to socially and economically transform our communities and societies.

Vi) Increased digital access for fast-tracking digital innovation across Nigeria 8. Serves as an institutional mechanism to address the needs of technology-intensive, knowledge-based Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

RELATED: NCC Urges Stakeholders To Activate Digital Economy For Diversification, Transformation

Meanwhile, Akande has explained that the facilities in the Digital Park in Ibadan will include 100 Seat capacity Hall, Server Control room, Work Space, Print Room, Store, Offices, Waiting/Reception, Stair Hall/Waiting area and Food Court.

Others are Conveniences, five number ICT Hubs Halls of various capacities, Office Spaces, 24-Seater capacity Lounge with 8  double computer work stands, Conveniences, Hallway, Stair hall/way.

Activating NCC’s Digital Awareness Programme in Oyo State

The NCC Board Chairman further disclosed that four secondary schools in Oyo State have been enrolled on the Digital Awareness Programme (DAP) of the Commission.

The beneficiary schools are Government College Ibadan (GCI), Obaseku High School,Eruwa,  Community High School,Ayekale,Saki and Ipapo Community Grammar School,Ipapo.

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Baptist Primary School, Out, is also benefitting from the new Social Intervention Programme of the Federal Government.

ConsumerConnect reports the NCC’s DAP is a fresh programme designed to introduce students in public primary schools to the use of computer at the early stage as part of grooming a vast population for Nigeria’s prospective digital economy.

It is a special intervention programme to address the digital information knowledge gap in the country, especially among the teeming youthful population.

The DAP Project reportedly supports 229 Secondary Schools around the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory, said the Commission.

The NCC as well said that the programme strategy is to expose schools and colleges to ICT, raise awareness, usage and application by the provision of 21 desktop computers, Local Area Networks (LAN), printers, scanners, VSAT dish and one-year bandwidth subscription for Internet access.

The NCC, according to Prof. Akande, had earlier provided or improved the Campus Wide Internet Cloud facility at The Polytechnic, Ibadan, and Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH), in Ogbomoso, while it also provided an Internet/ICT facility at the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education in Oyo Town.

The Oke Ogun Polythecnic is also scheduled to benefit from the ADAPTI programme of the DBI, to train 110 lecturers if the institution on digital education, said the NCC Chair.

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