By Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Executive Vice President and CEO Professor Umar Garba Danbatta described digital literacy as an initiative that gives citizens the confidence to use digital content and tools , adding that it also helps citizens to collaborate effectively on digital content creation and become innovative problem solvers.
At the Emirate of Bichi’s first annual conference titled “Digital Literacy as a Real Tool for Social and Economic Transformation” in Bichi, Kano State, over the weekend, Danbatta challenged public and private sector actors to participate in the program in order to transform their socio-economic ecosystem.
The EVC pointed out that technological change has now taken on an unprecedented dimension in terms of pace, scale and depth of impact, stressing that harnessing progress is the surest path for Nigeria in its quest. economic diversification, in particular to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. .
He said: “The political direction of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in this direction is encapsulated in three key policy documents, namely: Nigeria National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025; the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2010-2030; and the national policy on the promotion of indigenous content in the Nigerian telecommunications sector ”.
He added that one of the underlying objectives of the three policies was the development of the Nigerian economy through the improvement of digital technology and an increased contribution of the telecommunications sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country. .
To demonstrate his recognition of the importance of digital literacy, Danbatta said that the NCC has, over the years, implemented various programs to support the adoption and application of digital skills in Nigeria.
The programs, he said, not only provide the necessary digital tools, but also support the provision of digital infrastructure, training, connectivity and other incentives to facilitate the development of digital literacy skills.
Through its Department of Projects and the Universal Service Delivery Fund (USPF), Danbatta observed that the NCC provided interventions such as School Knowledge Centers (SKCs), wireless cloud and radio stations. The basic transceiver (BTS), among others, in the country’s six political zones.
Speaking specifically about NCC’s interventions in Bichi Emirate, Danbatta said that out of the eight local government areas that make up the emirate, the Commission has, through the USPF, identified around 1 900 square kilometers of land, populated by 462,222 people as unserved.
“In order to fill this gap, mobile network operators (ORMs) have installed 212 BTS of which 112 are second generation (2G) compliant, 73 are third generation (3G) networks and 27 are fourth generation networks / long-term evolution (4G / LTE), all offering broadband connectivity which is the foundation of digital culture.
“USPF has also provided interventions to secondary schools, higher education institutions and hospitals in the emirate through its SKC, its tertiary institutions knowledge center as well as e-health initiatives; a total of seven of these projects have so far been executed since 2015 according to my assumption as VCA, ”he explained.
Speaking further, the boss of the NCC also spoke of the seven interventions of the Commission within the framework of the advanced program of digital awareness, among others, stressing that all the interventions are in line with the equitable distribution of the projects of the NCC in all the geopolitical areas of the country.
Recognizing the need to continue fostering the rapid development and growth of the Nigerian telecommunications market and digital economy, the Commission established the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) in May 2004.
He noted, however, that since its inception, the Institute has grown to have six campuses, one in each geopolitical area.