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Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi in the middle, flanked by NCS President, Prof Adesola Aderounmu and other dignitaries at the NCS's N27th National Conference, at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.

Urgently Incorporate Digital Inclusion Into National ICT Policy – NCS Advises FG

Isaiah Onwuanumba
Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) has advised the Federal Government to come up with new national ICT policy that will large population the country into the global internet ecosystem.

President of the NCS, Prof. Adesola Aderounmu said this during a well address at the ongoing 27th National Conference organised by the Society at international Conference centre, University of Ibadan.

According to him, Nigeria stands to benefit in many ways if its close to 200 million people are internet included.
“I would like to advise Federal Government to quickly formulate a new national Information and Communication Technology ( ICT) policy that will incorporate digital new inclusion as a pivotal factor for driving our socio-economic and political development,” he said.

According to him, the new policy should cover ICT infrastructure, broadband Internet, Fibre optic communication and local content prioritization.
Aderoumu explained that to bridge digital divide, access, affordability and application are three key areas of action require quick attention.
He said, “Access has to do with speed, Internet access being available to all members of society such that people who cannot afford the digital technologies can do so for free in public places. Application implies that digital technologies and services are usable by people with varying levels of digital skills and abilities, including people with disabilities. For overall sustainable national development, nobody should be left behind.

Aderounmu described the conference as timely because a IT deployment and development in Nigeria continues to grow, experiences and benefits of IT and internet have not been widely spread.
The Conference which starts today will run through Thursday 19th of July, 2018, at International Conference Centre University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, under the theme “Digital Inclusion: Opportunities, Challenges, and Strategies”.
The conference focuses on important issues related to the theme and sub themes such as: Poverty Eradication and Job Creation in the rural Economy. Other topics are Internet and Broadband for All, e-agriculture, e-health, e-education for inclusion: Software and Local Content. Digital Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.
The conference has in attendance high profile dignitaries from government, private and educational sectors, as well as from the international and global IT environment are already seated.

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In his presentation, the Conference Committee Chairman, Mr Jide Awe said the year’s conference focus on how best to apply digital solutions to development and the role expected of professionals and stakeholders to enable transformation through innovation.
He said progress has been made in the area of ICT’s feature as driving force of innovation and efficiency which is behind improvement in productivity, growth, job creation and the opening of new forms of governance and citizen engagement.

However, benefits of digital technologies are not evenly distributed creating concerns due to multidimensional factors. Awe explained that exclusion is where many lack access to digital infrastructure and the benefits it offers due to affordability and other issues hence, the need to address the causes.
Meanwhile, Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi while declaring the conference open said the state is the intellectual capital of Nigeria.
He said his administration has transformed the state to a knowledgeable based through a tripods of development put in place to restore the state’s glory.

According to him, the aim of the tripods is to transform, reposition and restore Oyo State into a full modern society.
He noted that Oyo State should develop on the foundation of peace and security which his administration in now transforming into infrastructure.
The Governor said the pyramid has transformed into implementation in the areas of education, e-governance and security.
He said, “We believe that we should be knowledge driven, knowledge is a structured information that leads to skill which eventually leads to ability and capability.
“The leaders of tomorrow are not those who cannot read or write but, those who are ICT compliant. Hence, the state creation of technical university.”

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He said the state has partnered with ICT firms to deploy CCTV in major areas in Ibadan and will be extended to other parts of the state as part of efforts at improving security in the state.
Ajimobi informed that the state has implemented biometrics in the civil services which has helped to curb ghost workers while automation of civil services has also impacted productivity in the state.
NCS is the umbrella body of all IT professionals and organizations in Nigeria, with more than 20,000 members and major interest groups (ISPON, ITAN, ISPAN, WiTSoN, ITSSP, AITP, NITPCS) as well as one hundred thousand Student body- NACOSS.

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