Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, and other development analysts have commended the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for its ongoing initiative in building Information and Communication Technology (ICT) parks across the six-geo political zones of the country.
Governor Ganduje gave the commendation when he visited the site of an ongoing construction of an ICT Parks being constructed by the commission for the North-Western zone located in Kano State.
A news report by Saheliantimes.com indicated that the governor acknowledged the efforts and commitment of the Prof. Umar Danbatta-led NCC in ensuring increased digital access for fast-tracking digital innovation across Nigeria and the North-West in particular, noting that the initiative will engender socio-economic transformation of the area in the near future.
The governor enthused: “Realising that a major project that resonates with the global vision for the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) is being vigorously driven by NCC leadership, shows the kind of socio-economic transformation we should expect through ICT across Nigeria in the next few years.
“For the ICT Park being built here in Kano to serve the North-West zone, the government and citizens of Kano State are grateful to Prof. Danbatta and his team for bringing development to the state and the zone at large”, Ganduje added
This is even as he commended the quality of the construction work being undertaken by the NCC on the ICT Park and expressed appreciation for the foresight of the NCC for accommodating an expansion plan at the project site.
Also, when interviewed by BRTNews.ng, an economic development expert, Mr. Oluwasola Ayodele, described the NCC’s initiative as “a desirable step towards job creation in the country, especially the unemployed graduates who needed to explore the opportunities availed by the ICT Parks to enhance their skills and become self-employed.
“I think the NCC leadership deserves to be commended for this move which holds a lot of promises for Nigeria’s sustainable development in the future”, the expert added.
Commenting on the investment in ICT Parks by the commission, an Abuja-based civil engineer, who simply identified himself as Engr. Dominic Gabriel, said “the importance of the ICT Parks can best be appreciated if analysed within the context of rising unemployment rate in the country and its potential to reduce it if the youths take advantage to boost their productive capabilities.
“I strongly feel that NCC deserves to be praised and supported by all for its innovative steps in building these parks across the geo-political zones”, Gabriel stressed.
The ICT Park is an initiative of the Executive Vice-Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, to provide Innovation Labs and Digital Fabrication Laboratories (Fablabs) for use by ICT innovators and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into products and prototypes.
The Tier-4 Digital Industrial Complex (DIC) will provide a Commercial Hub for ICT capacity building and digital skills, create employment and entrepreneurial activities and facilitate smart city deployment across the Digital Industrial Complex.
The ICT Park consists of laboratories for ICT innovations and Commercial Hubs providing capacity building to ICT startups and entrepreneurial activities, in Kano State.
The parks are designed to provide fast internet service (broadband) and constant power supply.
An ICT park comprises an area or location with concentration of all ICT facilities, which enables a concerted leap into the digital age by creating a dynamic environment in which local talent is incubated, cultivated, and shared. ICT park is best tested and trusted institutional mechanism to address the needs of technology-intensive, knowledge-based Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The NCC ICT Parks, which are being built across the six geo-political zones of the country, involve the construction and equipping of fully-functional Tier-4 Digital Industrial Complex (DIC) in each of the six geo-political zones of the country.
The ICT Park consists of laboratories for ICT innovations and Commercial Hubs providing capacity building to ICT start-ups and entrepreneurial activities. The Parks are designed to have fast internet service (broadband) and constant power supply.
Commenting on the ICT Parks project, Prof Danbatta explained that the project was conceived and designed to support the federal government’s ICT-related policies and programmes by facilitating the availability and accessibility of ICT services across the country, promote their usage across all sectors and ultimately address youth unemployment in the country.
Designed to propel socio-economic transformation in the country, the EVC said the ICT Parks will help build capacity for the teeming population of Nigerian youths in the area of skill acquisition and innovation by complementing existing initiatives geared towards accelerating socio-economic transformation of Nigeria.
“The whole idea of putting these two things (i.e. skill acquisition and innovation) at the forefront of this very important initiative is to produce youths that can be self-reliant, generate employment for themselves and for other Nigerians,” he said.
Danbatta said based on its national structural spread, no part of the country will be left out as beneficiaries of the initiative. “The NCC ICT Parks Project is another move by the current leadership of the Commission to boost youth digital skills acquisition, promote innovations, provide jobs for the teeming Nigerian youth and ultimately support the overall digital economy agenda of the Federal Government,” he said.
He said the parks will support software development, incubation and hardware development. “We also hope to see innovative technologies that will leverage the broadband network, which the Commission is deepening in order to socially and economically transform our communities and societies.”
Danbatta urged the potential and would-be beneficiaries of the project, especially the youths, to be ready to leverage the initiative as it promises to empower them socially and economically.
“I would like to send out a very important message to our youths, especially those who are currently occupied with various innovative applications, those who have acquired the skills but are looking for where to put the skills fruitful engagements, by incubating them, commercialising them, or giving publicity to these excellent initiatives, to be ready to leverage the facilities,” he stated.
The ICT Park in Kano is expected to be completed and inaugurated at the end of this year.