FG inaugurates NITDA, NIPOST, NIGCOMSAT boards — Daily Times Nigeria

FG inaugurates NITDA, NIPOST, NIGCOMSAT boards

The Federal Government Wednesday inaugurated the Management Boards of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, the Nigerian Postal Service, NIPOST, and the Nigerian Communications Satellite, NIGCOMSAT.

The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu who inaugurated the 36 member board of the agencies at Obasanjo Hall, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, urged them to justify the confidence repose in them by the Buhari administration by turning around the fortunes of the agencies for the better.

Shittu said the performances of the agencies are critical to the committment of the present administration to move the economy from oil and gas paradigm to the development of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.

Government efforts, he said, have started yielding results as more than 10 percent of the nation’s GDP comes from the sector.

Said the Minister: “The ICT sector is one of the key pillars of the Nigerian economy contributing more than 10% of the GDP. The sector has great potentials for contributing significantly to Nigeria’s economic recovery and Growth through economic diversification, creating opportunities for social inclusion, job creation and youth empowerment, improving human capital and facilitating economic competitiveness.

“It has been suggested that the Devices, Software Solution and e-Commerce sector alone could employ well over 45 million Nigerians and rake in significant revenue.

“The major challenges to the sector have been lack of an integrated framework for coordinated development, inadequate infrastructure leading to low access of Nigerians to the benefits of ICT, poor local content in the ICT industry, inadequate investments in the sector and low Capacity including lack of globally competitive skills.”

According to the Minister, the agencies would be restructured in line with the vision of the present administration to enable them maximize their goals, pointing out that government would ensure that the enabling laws backing their operations are also fine-tuned and updated.

Shittu said government is currently embarking on the upgrading of ICT infrastructures to ensure that they are capable meeting the challenges of modern economy.

The Minister said: “Increased ICT infrastructure will also help to solidify national security, strengthen sovereignty and promote good governance. We are well on our way there with the kind of infrastructural investments that we envisage including regional fibre –optic links and metro rings.

“Recently, the Federal Executive Council approved the implementation of the National ICT Infrastructure Backbone II project.

“Considering the large youth population in Nigeria, one of the most critical success factors for ICT sector development is the issue of skills development. However, Skills issues remain a major constraint to employment of Nigerians in the sector.

“Employers in the sector are increasingly finding it difficult to source for emerging 3rd platform technologies such as cloud, mobility, security and big data/Analytics which is where the world is going now.

“Considering the large youth population in the country, we will work with the Ministry of Education to integrate ICT effectively into education curricular through the use of ICT to facilitate education using smart devices, e-Content as well as increase the uptake of ICT as a subject”.

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