FG Inaugurates Broadband for Higher Institutions, MSMEs
Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja
The federal government has unveiled broadband infrastructure to support 18 higher institutions of learning and for micro, small and medium enterprises in the six geo political zones of the country.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami stated this during the unveiling in Abuja at the weekend,
At the inauguration, the minister said the initiative was aimed at achieving the nation’s national digital plan and boosting the economic drive of the government.
He said this would accelerate broadband penetration in the country and advance the course of digital economy projections for the nation.
He said that digital connectivity and expanding access to information play a role in enhancing the economy.
“This will result in an addition of up to $2 trillion dollars per year to the world GDP and the creation of about 140 million jobs.
“Similarly, a report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation states that 80 per cent of economic benefits in developing countries are as a result of the use of ICTs and digital skills. While in developed countries, it is even higher at 90 per cent.”
He said Nigeria had experienced the impact of the digital economy on other sectors of the economy.
“You will recall that the digital economy of Nigeria played a key role in stabilising and growing other sectors of our economy.
Pantami noted the fact that digital connectivity, access, and skills are critical for human and economic development in both developed and developing countries.
Pantami listed the institutions to include University of Lagos, College Of Education (Special), Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Federal University of Technology, Owerri and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Others are University of Calabar, University of Benin, University of Port Harcourt, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Bayero University, Kano, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Katsina, Borno State University, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University,
The remaining institutions that benefited from the initiative are Bauchi, Gombe State Universities, Federal University of Technology, Minna, University of Ilorin and University of Abuja.
Pantami used the opportunity to launch a book he recently authored with a title, “Skills Rather than Just Degrees.” It was the culmination of the minister’s drive to help equip the Nigerian higher institutions of learning and MSMEs with digital innovation to make young entrepreneurs less dependent on degree certificates.
Also at the inauguration, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta said the interventions were ambitious.
He added that the commission “is committed to implementing the various projects and various policies regarding broadband infrastructure in a manner that is ubiquitous.”