CITAD Tasks State Governments On ICT

TECH DIGEST – The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), has advised State Governments in Nigeria to key into the Federal Government’s digitisation programme by initiating policies on Information Communication Technology (ICT).

CITAD Executive Director, Malam Yunusa Zakari, said this in an interview with newsmen on Sunday, in Kano.

“Nigeria can record more growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with right ICT policies.

“At the moment, I think only Kano, Niger, Kogi and Ogun States have such ICT policies in place.

“This means that if we want ICT to contribute more to our economy, the states will have to put in place clear policies on what they want to do with the ICT, what sector they want to target and what initiative they want to create.

“Such policies will help attract investment, create more jobs and contribute to the GDP. To achieve a digital economy; it is desirable for us to ensure stable electricity supply and for us to be consistent on sound ICT programmes, ” he said.

Zakari said that the Kano Farm Centre GSM market popularly called –‘Kasuwar Jagwal’ has been contributing to Nigeria’s GDP through job creation, enhanced revenue generation among others.

He said that although most actors in the market only deal in computers, phones and other ICT accessories, their operations had significantly helped in reducing unemployment in the state.

“Developing skills will encourage production and promote ICT contributions to the GDP. The market in Kano could be developed to start producing GSM accessories.

“We need to change our thinking from being consumers to producers of ICT products, I think this will assist to achieve the digital economy drive.

“We should be able to produce ICT materials either computer hardware or software. We cannot be talking about digital economy, while we cannot produce much,” he said.

Zakari said that the state government has also been lagging behind in ICT, saying that most public schools in the state lacked computers.

He said that provision of computers in schools would enhance students’ access to ICT facilities for research and other learning process, towards academic excellence.

The ICT expert said provision of facilities like computers, tablets, smart and android phones to children at early age in life would help expose them towards specialising in ICT.