By; ISAAC ODEH, Kaduna.
The Minister of Communication, Barrister Abdul-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, has said that the National Council on Communications Technology is to facilitate Inter-Governmental Consultations on ICT matters and to avoid unnecessary disparities in developmental structures and standards.
He stated this Saturday during the opening ceremony of the National Council on Communications Technology held at Arewa House, Kaduna saying that this administration is seeking to diversify the economy from oil as the sole foreign exchange earner; to other sectors and that the ICT has a vital role to play in this Endeavour.
He added that ICT is becoming a veritable tool for advancing growth and economic diversitification in countries, even those that are not endowed with natural resources and that ICT has changed the way people communicate, learn, and conduct businesses, pointing out that many developed countries around the world do not rely on the export of any raw materials but on the development and export of ICT.
The Minister said that the ICT has been known to transform nations from developing to develop ones within and incredibly short span of time and that Singapore, South Korea and Thailand are countries that have leveraged on ICT to make a difference in their countries.
He also disclosed that his ministry had embarked on aggressive sensitization on Nigerians particularly the youth, on the benefits and potential of ICT which is already gaining attention as buttressed by Mark Zuckerberg; founder of Facebook during his recent visit to Nigeria and hopes that the human development effort would enable the country to train and nurture more industry aligned and skilled young people to create a crop of experts, whose innovations and skills can be exported to create additional stream of revenue for the country.
He said that the government is now focusing on cost saving service delivery and leveraging economic of scale by prioritizing services that have direct bearing on the administration priorities and classifying them as shared service to be provisioned from the national shared services center, adding that it would ensure optimization of the productivity of government officials, increase experience, enhance security and make government services open and transparent.
Barrister Shittu also disclosed that the performance of the telecommunication industry had also improved and a positive increase in the number of active telecoms subscribers with an increase from 148, 70 million in August 2015 to 152, 28 million as at August 2016 which is an increase of 5.9% pointing out that a taskforces has been set up to identify the issues mitigating against the provision of excellent service, and the report of the task force is being implemented.
He also said that the ICT innovation and entrepreneurship and broadening of investment opportunities is one of the key avenues for increasing ICT generated revenue in any economy and Nigeria is no exception and is intensifying effort in the promotion of research in higher institution and building synergy between academia and industry and that Nigeria will be sponsoring some Nigerian youth to compete at the forthcoming International Telecomunication Union (ITU) World Submit taking place in Thailand.
He also said that the government will pursue the implementation of the e-government master plan and the emphasis on e-registration application that will help solve many of the country’s existing socio- economic challenges.
By; ISAAC ODEH, Kaduna.