The message of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, who was the special guest at the weekend commissioning of a ‘Digital Nigeria Centre’ at the Father O’Connel Science College, Minna, Niger State, focused on the Federal Government’s agenda to transform the country into a robust digital economy.
Pantami stated that through diligent implementation of the digital economy 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 provided by the DNC, creative Nigerians can play a critical role in the growth of digital jobs across the country.” “This employment is either based on or relies on Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs),” he explained.
The Minister, speaking through the Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Mr Reuben Muoka, said in a press statement that the current implementation of Nigeria’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030, emphasizes the importance of innovation and the startup ecosystem to the development of the indigenous digital economy in Nigeria. He stated that the DNC commissioned at the college aims 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 pass rates in mathematics, English language, and other science subjects.
Pantami, who spoke to an audience that included Niger State’s Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Hanatu Jibrin Salihu, who represented Niger State’s Governor, advised the school to effectively use the DNC’s four components, which include the ICT Tool component (made up of 40 desktop computers with embedded operating systems, server, printer, remote-controlled projector, high-resolution scanner, and e-learning software) and the power structure, which includes an inverter.
“There is also a connectivity component, which includes routers, switches, and a firewall for network protection, as well as a modem, fiber/microwave radio, or Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT), and capacity for internet connectivity.” Finally, there is a non-ICT component made up of furniture, cabinets, cooling systems, and allied equipment,” he explained.
The primary goal of the DNC, formerly known as the School Knowledge Centre (SKC), is to carry out the Commission’s legislative responsibility of expanding the boundaries of universal access and universal service by assuring service provision to unserved and under-served sections of the Nigerian economy.
Following the conversion of the project from SKC to DNC, the Minna project became the second to be commissioned, following the first DNC, which was launched in January 2022 at Ijesa Muslim Grammar School in Ilesa, Osun State.