Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Honourable Minister for Interior, Making His Presentation at the Recent DNC Project Inauguration at Ijesa Muslim Grammar School, Ilesa, Osun State Photo: PMExpressNG

Government applauds NCC’s commitment to youth digital skills development

*The Federal Government says existing policies are designed to accelerate the delivery of digital economy benefits as Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, assures the NCC is poised to deepen digital access in the West African country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government has commended the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for its commitment and dedication to enhancing digital skills development among youths through implementation of various Information and Communications Technology (ICT) skills acquisition programmes.

The Commission stated Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Honourable Minister for Interior, and Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, gave the commendation at the recent inauguration of a Digital Nigeria Centre (DNC) project executed by the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), an arm of NCC, at the Ijesa Muslim Grammar School, Ilesa, Osun State.

The newly commissioned Digital Nigeria Centre project

Representing President Muhammadu Buhari at the event, the NCC said Ogbeni Aregbesola applauded the telecoms regulatory Commission for timely and thorough implementation of the project.

RELATED: Pantami, Aregbesola To Inaugurate Digital Nigeria Project In Osun

The Minister noted President Buhari said he was confident that the project would promote the connection of public secondary schools to Broadband Internet in Ilesa community, and ultimately, equip beneficiaries with 21st Century skills.

Aregbesola further stated: “I would like to thank my very good friend and brother, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, for assenting to our request to have the first of this remodelled project in Osun State sited in Ilesa.

“I will also like to thank the Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, and the entire Management and staff of NCC and the USPF, as well as their technical partners for a timely and successful completion of this laudable project.”

On the sideline of the commissioning, Aregbesola also announced the establishment of President Muhammadu Buhari N100 million Technology Fund for Youth Empowerment, to nudge the emergence of world-class technology experts, said the Commission.

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

The Minister for Interior said that the Fund would target 2,000 youths in the next two years, who would be provided with devices for training in different areas, such as software development and design among others.

In the same vein, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State, represented by Dr. Babatunde Olawale, Honourable Commissioner for Innovation, Science and Technology in the state, expressed the gratitude of the Osun State Government to the Federal Government, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, and the Nigerian Communications Commission for initiative, and particularly for inaugurating the pioneer remodelled DNC project in Osun State.

Governor Oyetola also informed the enthusiastic gathering the Osun State Government is willing and ready to collaborate with NCC to replicate the project in other parts of the state.

Likewise, Prof. Pantami, represented on the occasion Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman, Board of Commissioners of NCC, commended the NCC and USPF on the delivery of the DNC project on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Ogbeni Aregbesola (left) and Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman, Board of Commissioners of NCC, representing Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, on the occasion

The Minister declared that the project and similarly instituted ones were initiated by the government to give expression to its vision to effectively digitise the country’s economy for increased prosperity for all Nigerians.

READ ALSO: Minister Commends NCC, NITDA On Digital Transformation Projects In Nigeria

Pantami also stated that the Federal 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 in order to accelerate the delivery of derivable benefits of 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 November 2019.

The DNC inaugurated in Ilesa, the Minister noted, was a concrete implementation of the Digital Literacy and Skills, the second pillar of NDEPS.

The overarching objective of the DNC project is to facilitate adoption of digital lifestyle in the schools as well as in the school communities, he said.

Pantami as well averred that the project’s significance could not be under-estimated, considering its ability to improve digital skills for the youths, and subsequently, make them globally competitive.

According to him, the Nigerian government is determined to arm the youths with digital skills, strong literacy and numeracy skills, critical and innovative thinking skills, complex problem solving aptitude, the ability to collaborate, and deploy socio-emotional skills, which they require to transform their lives and build the economy.

He further said:  “We have already made a number of giant strides in the development of our digital economy culture and the deployment of initiatives such as the Digital Nigeria Centre eloquently demonstrates the current administration’s commitment to connecting all Nigerians.”

RELATED Digital Economy: Nigeria Launches Digital Performance Management System To Track Projects

Pantami equally expressed the Federal Government’s commitment to its tripartite agenda of improving the economy, curbing corruption, and enhancing national security through effective deployment of ICT in all nooks and crannies of the country.

In his remark at the event, Prof. Danbatta, represented at the event by Iyabode Solanke, Director of Projects at NCC, 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, had been targeted at giving concrete expression to Nigeria’s deliberate policy to migrate to a full digital economy.

The Commission, he stated, achieves this by consistently committing itself to expansion of appropriate infrastructure to enhance digital literacy and skills in view of the economic and social impact of digitisation 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 Communications Technology (ICT) as well as Broadband access to the unserved and underserved institutions and communities in the country.

Earlier, Mrs. Ramota Ilesanmi, Principal of Ijesa Muslim Grammar School, Ilesa, thanked the President Buhari-led Federal Government for the project.

Mrs. Ilesanmi said that the project would 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, conceptualised 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.

The NCC stated the specific objectives of DNC are to increase ICT literacy among school teachers and students; provide a platform for accessing online educational resources; equip students with ICT skills; facilitate ICT adoption in teaching and learning, as well as increase pass rate in Mathematics, English language and other science subjects.

Kindly Share This Story