Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has tasked youths to make productive use of technology in proffering solutions to everyday problems, noting that Nigeria would benefit immensely from tech-based solutions given the overwhelming impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on people’s lives.

The governor, who said this in commemoration of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) marked every May 17, by the United Nations, noted that youths need support to be able to maximise the innumerable opportunities inherent in technology to drive sustainable development.

According to him, “As we mark the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, I will like to stress the impact of technological innovations on our everyday life, whether in relating with our loved ones, in business and economy, education, health care and even agriculture.”

He tasked youths on the productive use of social media to engage on topical issues and sieve through the information on the various platforms to learn about the world and make informed judgement about living.

According to him, “We have seen the enormous influence and liberating features of technology as can be seen with the disruptions in different sectors of the economy; with the coming of FinTech, the banking sector is being recalibrated with the input of vibrant Nigerian youth. In the media, media influencers have risen overnight to challenge and extend the boundaries of media practice and public opinion moulding. One can only wonder what more is in the offing if more support is given to our young ones.”

Noting that the theme for the 2018 commemoration, Enabling the positive use of Artificial Intelligence for All, was apt and speaks to the constructive use of technology to solve everyday problems, he said, “We acknowledge the role of technology and information in transforming society.

“This is why we are leaving no stone unturned in attracting investors to set up tech hubs in Edo State. Already, we have designated the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) in Benin City a tech hub and are working with partners to properly equip the facility with relevant structures to make for a world-class start-up incubation space.”

He said that the Edo State Government has identified the role of technology in driving societal growth, which is why the state government is partnering with blue-chip companies like Microsoft to train youths in the state on digital skills as well as providing the enabling environment for setting up technology hubs in the state.

According to the United Nations, World Telecommunication Day has been celebrated annually on 17 May since 1969, while the celebration of the World Information Society Day was declared on May 17 at the World Summit on the Information Society called upon by the UN General Assembly in November 2005.

“In November 2006, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, decided to celebrate both events on 17 May as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. The day is being commemorated to stimulate reflection and exchanges of ideas on the theme adopted by the Council; debate the various aspects of the theme with all partners in society and formulate a report reflecting national discussions on the issues underlying the theme, to be fed back to ITU and the rest of its membership,” the UN said.