The executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta has paid an inspection visit to the ongoing construction site of the Digital Industrial Park (DIP) project in Kano State ahead of its commissioning by January 2023.
The inspection call by the NCC’s boss at the weekend was part of the routine visits to ensure close monitoring and effective supervision of important projects that will have great impacts on the country’s socio-economic development.
During the visit, the EVC – who was accompanied by the NCC’s head of projects, Philip Eretan; chief of staff, Malam Hafiz Shehu, among others, with the special adviser to the Kano State governor, Prof. Yusif Alhassan in attendance – emphasised the need for the contractors to expedite efforts in completing the project on schedule.
Addressing the contractors, Danbatta said both the Federal and state governments are following the progress being made at the site with keen interest, given the value it would add to the economy of the northwestern region and the nation upon completion.
“This is a project that Nigerians are eagerly waiting to be completed. The Federal Government and state governments are following it with keen interest and, at NCC, our responsibility is to ensure that there’s no further delay in delivery as we have been doing everything possible to ensure that we have the project commissioned in the next few months.
“While I promise you that we will give you all the support you need, I also demand that a progress report be sent to me fortnightly, over two months, to ensure effective monitoring by the NCC,” he said.
Danbatta further commended the state governor for providing land for the project at a prime location in the state which he said is an indication of the value the government attaches to the project.
The DIPs currently being built across the nation’s six geo-political zones by the NCC are expected to provide innovation laboratories and digital fabrication laboratories (Fablabs) for digital innovators and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into products and prototypes. The parks are also designed to provide broadband services and access power supply.
This is not the first time the NCC boss would pay a visit to the construction site of the project located at Audu Bako Secretariat in the ancient city.
Danbatta’s latest visit followed a similar visit to the construction site in July 2022 and several others much earlier, to assess the level of work done so far to ensure that the project is delivered within the set deadline.
During the July 2022 visit to the construction site, Danbatta pointed out that the project was conceived to support the Federal Government’s digital drive by facilitating the availability and accessibility of digital services across the country, and promoting their adoption and usage across all sectors, as well as providing youth employment in the country.
“The 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 other Nigerians,” he said.
Also, Danbatta stressed that no part of the country would be left out of benefitting from the initiative. “The project is another move 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.