The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, has restated the Federal Government’s commitment to transforming the country into a robust digital economy.
Speaking during the commissioning of the Digital Nigeria Centre (DNC) at the Father O’Connel Science College, Minna, Niger State, Pantami said through diligent implementation of the digital economic agenda, Nigeria has the potential of a critical mass of ‘digital natives’ that can transform the country into a regional and global digital powerhouse.
The event was hosted by the college community led by its old student and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, who facilitated the project executed by the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF).
“With the tools being provided through the DNC, creative Nigerians can play a key role in the creation of digital jobs across all sectors of the country. Such jobs are either based on or are dependent upon Information and communications technologies (ICTs),” he said.
Represented at the event by the director of public affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr. Reuben Muoka, Pantami said the current implementation of Nigeria’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030, emphasises the importance of innovation and startup ecosystem to the development of Nigerian indigenous digital economy.
He said the DNC commissioned at the college targets students and youths for skills acquisition to increase ICT literacy among school teachers and students, provide a platform for accessing online educational resources, equip students with ICT skills, facilitate ICT adoption in teaching and learning and increase the pass rates in mathematics, English language and other science subjects.
Pantami, who spoke to an audience that included the Niger State Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Hanatu Jibrin Salihu, who represented the state governor, advised the school to effectively utilise the DNC whose four components include ICT tool component (40 desktop computers with embedded operating systems, server, printer, remote-controlled projector, high-resolution scanner and e-learning software), as well as the power structure, consisting of an inverter that comes with its charger, solar panels, batteries and automatic change-over.
“There is also a connectivity component made up of routers, switches and firewall for network protection, modem, fibre/microwave radio or Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) and bandwidth for internet connectivity. Lastly, there is a non-ICT component constitutive of the furniture, cabinet, cooling systems and allied appliances,” he said.
A statement by Mouka said the DNC, formerly known as School Knowledge Centre (SKC), has an overarching objective to carry out the commission’s statutory mandate of expanding the frontiers of universal access and universal service by ensuring service provision to unserved and under-served areas of the Nigerian economy.
Since the modification of the project from SKC to DNC, the Minna project became the second to be commissioned after inauguration of the first DNC located at Ijesa Muslim Grammar School, Ilesa, Osun State in January 2022.