‘Technology to Support Nigeria’s Socio-economic Devt’

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Musa Istifanus

Amby Uneze in Owerri

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Musa Istifanus has said digital technology will tremendously improve the country’s socio – economic development.

He said increasing the contribution of ICT to the Gross Domestic Product would enhance the nation’s socio- economic fortunes.
Istifanus who spoke at Owerri, at the 8th National Council on Communications and Digital Economy, said digital economy was the ‘new normal’.

The Permanent Secretary said the policy thrusts of his ministry clearly articulate the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020 – 2025), National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Telecom Sector, National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy, Policy on virtual engagement in the Public Service, among others.

He said: “The purpose is to use digital technologies to enhance national socio-economic development by increasing the contribution of ICT to the Gross Domestic Product.
“We are confronted by a new challenge. One where the expectations of citizens must be delivered with limited resources. We are fully committed to the integration of ICTs in socio-economic development of Nigeria in order to transform the country into a knowledge based economy.”

Governors across the country have, however, been charged to embrace information technology as this will lead to enhancing their capital base and develop the state,
Istifanus made this observation while delivering his remarks at the Owerri event.

He said this while speaking during the opening ceremony of the NCCDE tagged: “Leveraging Digital Economy policies and strategies for economic recovering in a COVID-19 Era and Beyond,” at Imo Trade and Investment (Ahiajoku) centre, New Owerri, Imo state.
He advised the governors to embrace rural digitalisation and information communication technology in the rural areas so as to digitalise their various economic base.

The permanent secretary who represented the Minister, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami stressed that the establishment of state council of ICT with State Commissioner’s and officers incharge of ICT in local government Areas urged them to fast track the spread of ICT skills in the grassroots with the aim of increasing social activities in the rural areas.

The minister said agencies of government should be charged to make deliberate policy to facilitate the deployment of ICT literacy initiatives in all states of the federation so as to drive the digital economy initiative of the federal government.
He stated that the ministry has adopted digital bridge institute as the official training institute for telecommunication, ICT and digital literacy capacity building for public service in Nigeria.
He explained that the programme will encourage entrepreneurship curls, the inconsistency of certificate syndrome, promote the data base of Nigeria and digital literacy capacity building.