The Deputy Governor of Gombe State, Dr. Manasseh Daniel Jatau, has said that there are tremendous opportunities for leveraging Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in all sectors of the economy.
Jatau, who represented the Governor of Gombe State, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, at the opening ceremony of the 7th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Communications and Digital Economy which took place in Gombe recently, made the declaration in his opening remark at the meeting.
Jatau assured the participants that Gombe State government was ready to partner with the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE) to harness the potentials of ICT for the growth and development Gombe State.
The Deputy Governor also promised the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, that the resolutions of the Council Meeting will be implemented expeditiously by Gombe State government.
In his remarks, Pantami urged states to key into the implementation of the Digital Economy Policy and Strategy and to publicise its contents to enhance adoption in all the states of the Federation.
The pillars of the digital economy strategy, which also constituted the principal foci of discussions at the Meeting are: Developmental Regulation; Digital Literacy and Skills; Solid Infrastructure (Broadband Penetration); Service Infrastructure (creating digital platforms through which services can be deployed); Digital Services Development and Promotion (creating government digital services in core areas of interaction with citizens); Soft Infrastructure (including strengthening Cybersecurity); Digital Society and Emerging Technology (promoting digital entrepreneurship and emerging technologies); and Indigenous Content Promotion and Adoption.
The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, in his remarks, which is in line with the policy, stated that robust broadband penetration is at the heart of any digital economy.
While recalling the accomplishments of the Commission in the context of the 8-Point Agenda unveiled by the Management of the Commission in February 2016, Danbatta noted that facilitating broadband penetration is the first item of the Agenda.
Danbatta commended Pantami for his commitment and recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari has demonstrated unequivocal commitment to delivering a digital economy by his physical presence at the launch of the new strategy for a digital economy at the e-Nigeria Conference held recently in Abuja.
The National Council on Communications and Digital Economy is the highest advisory body on ICT in Nigeria. This year, the thematic focus of the Council Meeting was: “Leveraging the Gains of ICTs in Developing and Implementing a Digital Economy Strategy for Nigeria.”
The ICT sector now contributes 13.8 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), overtaking oil as the highest contributor to the nation’s economy.
Besides Danbatta, the Chief Executive Officers of other agencies supervised by FMoCDE also participated at the Meeting, as well as Commissioners from various States of the Federation who are in charge of ICTs, science and technology.
At least 22 Commissioners attended the meeting, including Imo State Commissioner for Technology Development, Meekam Mgbenwelu, who commended NCC for facilitating the training of 200 candidates from Imo State at the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), an institution established by NCC in 2004 to accelerate knowledge production that measures up to the speed of development in the Nigeria’s telecom sector.
During the Council Meeting, Pantami also visited the Federal University Kashere, Gombe State, to commission the newly-completed library of the University.