FG Urged to Provide Digital Infrastructure Across 774 LGAs

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Emma Okonji

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) journalists in Nigeria has called on the federal government to provide digital infrastructure that can be accessible in all the 774 local government areas (LGAs) of the country, in order to fast track Nigeria’s digital transformation initiative and increase digital literacy.

They gave the advice in Lagos during the ongoing training on capacity building for for ICT journalists, organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), which commenced on Monday this week.

The ICT journalists numbering 50, said there was need to accessible digital infrastructure like ubiquitous broadband, and high speed internet connectivity across all the 774 LGAs of the country, which Nigerians could leverage to develop digital skills that will drive digital transformation. They also called for the promotion of telemedicine as national priority and the need to bridge existing gender gap on digital skills, in order to enhance digital transformation.

The five days training focused on digital literacy, digital tools for enhanced reportage, general entrepreneurial skills, online security, online communication responsibility, and digital ethics.

Speaking at the opening of the training session, the Director Director of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, who was represented by the Manager, Digital Architecture at NITDA, Mrs. Chinyere Nwankwo, said as most positions today would require technological knowledge, organisations must provide training and education on ICT, or risk having the workforce being left behind.

According to Abdullahi, “Employees with digital literacy skills are more competent in their work, as they easily identify important information, data, patterns and use them efficiently. This is important because we are constantly being disrupted by new information.

Digital literacy skills also allow workers to use technology to collaborate and connect with each other and thus strengthen teamwork. Training employees on digital literacy helps the workforce feel onboard and more confident in their work, which increases job satisfaction and engagement.”

He said initiative to up-skill 50 journalists from the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA), was in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) and the mandate of NITDA on Digital Literacy and Skills and the Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan 2021 to 2024, designed to intervene in the development of digital technology by supporting, promoting and facilitating digital skills and literacy programs and the development of innovative solutions for adoption and use in every facet of national life.”

Chairman of NITRA, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, said the training would enable NITRA members to further sharpen their skills and be well-equipped in reporting developments around new technologies.

The training was supported by Hill+Knowlton Strategies, a marketing communications firm; Global Accelerex, a financial technology company and Zinox Group, a technology company.