The Federal Government on Friday in Abuja virtually inaugurated seven Information Technology (IT) projects located in five geo-political zones of the country.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, said at the event that they were part of efforts to consolidate on implementing the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).
Pantami said that the projects were in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s key agenda, which included economic development, security and fight against corruption.
It was reported that the projects were actualised by parastatal agencies under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
The projects commissioned included a Community ICT Centre in Dutse, Jigawa, for North West; an IT Hub at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, for North East; Digital Economy Centre at Imo State Polytechnic, South East.
Others are a Digital Economy Centre in Ojodu Grammar School, Lagos State; Emergency Communications Centre in Abeokuta, Ogun State for South West; an Emergency Communication Centre in Enugu also for South East, and a Digital Economy Centre in Garki Secondary School, Abuja for North Central.
“These are the ninth in the series of the NDEPS projects.
“The ICT parks of the digital economy centres are more inclined to economic development and also in line to assist in the fight against corruption.
“We are using the digital centres to build capacity for our citizens, and we are also encouraging them to migrate from manual way of doing things to online.
“The emergency communication centres are part of government’s agenda to fight insecurity through activating emergency numbers in cases of emergencies,” Pantami said.
He said that the Federal Government approved the National Policy on Virtual Engagements in Federal Public Institutions, hence making the virtual commissioning institutionalised.
The minister added that the virtual activities had saved the government.
Pantami said that the ministry had almost completed the National Digital Innovation Startups Policy to promote startups, entrepreneurship and innovation.
According to him, private and public sectors should adopt solutions by startups because the government is creating the enabling environment for them to be successful.
Mrs Rachael Adesola, Principal, Ojodu Grammar School, Lagos State, who logged on to the virtual commissioning, said that the centre by the National Information Technology Development Agency was already in use by students.
Adesola said that students were using the computers to enhance learning and do class activities and she urged the government to sustain such interventions.
Mr Festus Dauda, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, said that the centres would bridge the digital divide and ensure fulfilment of President Buhari’s promise of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
Directors-general and chief executive officers of agencies under the ministry gave their congratulatory messages and hoped that the projects would achieve and facilitate the digital economy agenda.