The Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC) has concluded arrangement to commence the construction of a N1 billion Digital Park in Ibadan, Oyo State, just as it approved other ICT projects for schools in Saki,Ipapo,Eruwa and Otu communities in the state.
Th Chairman of tNCC,Professor Adeolu Akande, disclosed this during an end-of-the- year session with youth leaders from across the state, in Ibadan
According to him, the contract for the physical structure has been awarded and the budget of N500 million for equipment has been approved for the 2022 fiscal year.
The Digital Park is one of the four approved by the Federal Executive Council as part of efforts to facilitate a Digital economy in the country. The four Digital parks are located in Federal Capital Territory; Katsina; Gombe and Ibadan. Three other Digital parks are to be located in the remaining three geo-political zones of the country.
The physical work of the Park is projected at N500 million each while the equipment for each is also projected to cost another N500 million each. The projects are scheduled for completion in 2022.
Akamde said when completed, the Digital Park would boost digital skills acquisition among youths, promote innovations, provide jobs for the teaming Nigerian youth and ultimately support the overall digital transformation agenda of President Muhamadu Buhari’s administration.
Amongst others, the Digital ICT Park is to deliver the following benefits:
i) Provide a Commercial Hub for ICT that will promote entrepreneurial activities in ICT and facilitate smart city deployment across the Digital Industrial Complex.
ii) Provide Innovation Labs and Digital Fabrication Laboratories (Fablabs) for use by ICT innovators and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into products and prototypes.
iii) Provide a safe space for incubation of innovative applications and promotion of startups for youths with innovative skills who are already occupied in the developments of various applications.
iv.) Facilitate the availability and accessibility of ICT services and promote their usage across the country.
v) Build capacity for the teeming population of youths in the area of digital skill acquisition and innovation by complementing existing initiatives geared towards accelerating socio-economic transformation of Nigeria in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy.
v) Leveraging on broadband network being deployed by NCC across the country for the Development of Innovative Technologies in software development, incubation, and hardware development through the ICT order to socially and economically transform our communities and societies.
vi) Increased digital access for fast-tracking digital innovation across Nigeria 8. Serves as an institutional mechanism to address the needs of technology-intensive, knowledge-based Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Akande further explained that the facilities in the Digital Park include but not limited to:100 Seat capacity Hall, Server Control room, Work Space, Print Room, Store, Offices, Waiting/Reception, Stair Hall/Waiting area, Food Court, Conveniences fine number ICT Hubs Halls of various capacities, Office Spaces, 24 Seater capacity Lounge with 8 double computer work stands, Conveniences, Hallway, Stair hall/way.
He also revealed that four secondary schools in Oyo State have been enrolled on the Digital Awareness Programme (DAP) of the NCC. They are Government College,Ibadan; Obaseku High School,Eruwa; Community High School,Ayekale,Saki and Ipapo Community Grammer School,Ipapo.
Baptist Primary School,Otu, is also benefitting from the new Social Intervention Programme of the Federal Government. The programme is a new one to introduce students in public primary schools to the use of computer at the early stage as part of grooming a vast population for Nigeria’s prospective digital economy.
He said the DAP is a special intervention programme to address the digital information knowledge gap in the country, especially among the teeming youthful population. At the last count, the DAP Project supports 229 secondary schools around the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory.
The strategy of this programme is to expose schools and colleges to Information & Communication Technology (ICT), raise awareness, usage and application by the provision of 21.desktop computers, Local Area Networks (LAN), printers, scanners, VSAT dish and one-year bandwidth subscription for internet access.
Akande explained that the NCC had earlier provided or improved the Campus Wide Internet Cloud facility at The Polytechnic,Ibadan, an Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, while it also provided an Internet/ICT facility at the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education in Oyo Town.The Oke Ogun Polythecnic is also scheduled to benefit from the ADAPTI programme of the DBI, to train 110 lecturers if the institution on digital education.