Maximizing the power of information and communications technology to grow the economy create jobs and enhance national competitiveness was the trusth of discussions at a two day workshop held at the Axari Hotels and Suites , Calabar last week..
The workshop which was organized for stake holders in South/South zone by the National Communication Commission, NCC attracted key stake holders from the ICT world from the zone and beyond to brainstorm on Information and Communication Technology, ICT utilization and sustainability.
The objectives of workshop’s was also for stakeholders to discuss and evolve innovative ideas of ensuring growth and sustainability of Community Resource Centres, School knowledge Centres in a way to accelerate the socio--economic development, especially for quality and equitable education; effectiveness and efficiency of health care system; improve access to markets and information for small holder farmers and social neighbourhood watch, crisis and disaster prevention and management.
It was also designed to enrich the experiences of their implementing partners including Community Resource Centres’ managers, their centre Desk Officers as well as teachers and students that have benefitted from their school knowledge Centre initiative. Also invited were resource persons as well as other stakeholders that are interested in deepening ICT penetration and those that work every day to ensure that Nigeria is not left out in the new global war that is dependent on ICT.
Prof.(Engr) Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive, Nigerian Communications Commission who was represented by Mr Kelechi Nwankwo, head of stategy, Universal Service Provision Fund, explained that NCC is implementing an eight point agenda within the strategic vision 2015-- 2020 .
He said the vision is to “ promote innovation, investment, competition and consumer empowerment, through the deployment of broadband infrastructure ; to facilitate roll out of broadband services that will open opportunities and higher network quality of service for all Nigerians..
Speaking earlier on the theme of the event; ‘ICT for Community Empowerment Through Knowledge-Based Development’, Danbatta said, the event was an opportunity for stakeholders to interact with the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) in identifying sustainable solutions for The Community Resources Centre (CRS) and School Knowledge Centre (SKC) initiatives.
On cyber crime, he said, “There is a cyber crime which is being operated between the NCC and the office of the security advisers that are managing the zone .
The Secretary, Universal Service Provision Fund, USPF, Mr. Ayuba Shuaibu, who was represented by Joke Atte, Principal Manager, USPF explained that the USPF as an agency of the federal government which is responsible for facilitating the achievement of national policy goals for universal service and universal access to information and communication technologies , ICTs in rural, unserved and underserved areas in Nigeria is contributing substantially to the ERGP objectives on Telecommunications and ICT.
Emphasising on the ICT enabler for increased access to education, Hanso Johnson, the country mentor , Google developers in Nigeria and CEO of Star innovation Hub, said open education is a thriving worldwide movement that has grown over the last ten years to allow learners of all ages, abilities and means to experience authentic learning in both traditional and non traditional settings.
He explained that open education is now at its core, about free and open sharing. That is, at no cost, noting that Open Educational Resources, OVER are freely accessible, usually openly licenced documents and media that are useful for teaching, learnin, education, assessment and research purpose.
On ICT approaches to Primary Health Care Systems strengthening through community involvement, Dr. Francis Ohanyido an ICT4D strategist , Public Health physician and Country’s Director, founding CEO of Synergy MOB, Africa’s first integrated project explained that though, Nigeria and many developing nations failed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, by 2015, very few low countries met the health related milestones, noting that the world has however, moved on into the second phase of the Global Development Goals, called the Sustainable Development Goals with a time line of 2030 .
He said new evidence globally suggest that strengthening communities and getting their buy-in and taking ownership of information communication technologies for health care may strongly accelerate the attainment process to the development goals.