The Federal Government of Nigeria has established a N100 million Technology Fund targeted at empowering the Nigerian Youths. The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, disclosed this during the inauguration of a Digital Nigeria Centre (DNC), a project executed by the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), an arm of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), at the Ijesa Muslim Grammar School, Ilesa, Osun State.
The Technology Fund, Aregbesola said, is to nudge the emergence of world-class technology experts in Nigeria. The Minister of Interior stated that the Fund targets 2,000 youths in the next two years, who will be provided with devices for training in different areas such as software development and design, amongst others.
At the Commissioning, the Federal Government applauded the commitment and dedication of the NCC towards enhancing digital skills development among youths, through the implementation of various Information and Communication Technology skill acquisition programmes.
Representing President Muhammadu Buhari at the event, Aregbesola commended the NCC for timely and thorough implementation of the project, saying he was confident that the project will promote the connection of public secondary schools to broadband internet in the Ilesa community and ultimately equip beneficiaries with 21st-century skills.
“I would like to thank my very good friend and brother, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, for assenting to our request to have the first of this remodelled project in Osun State sited in Ilesa. I will also like to thank the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, and the entire Management and staff of NCC and the USPF, as well as their technical partners for a timely and successful completion of this laudable project,” he said.
The Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola, who was represented by the State's Commissioner for Innovation, Science and Technology, Dr. Babatunde Olawale, expressed the gratitude of the State Government to the Federal Government, the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Nigerian Communications Commission, for initiative and particularly for inaugurating the pioneer remodeled DNC project in Osun State. Oyetola also informed the enthusiastic gathering that Osun State Government was willing and ready to collaborate with NCC to replicate the project in other parts of the State.
Speaking in the same vein, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, who was represented at the event by the Chairman, Board of Commissioners of NCC, Prof. Adeolu Akande, also commended the NCC and USPF on the delivery of the DNC project on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He declared that the project and similarly instituted ones were initiated by the government to give expression to its vision to effectively digitise the nation’s economy for increased prosperity for all Nigerians.
Pantami stated that the Federal Government is focused on promoting digital economy across the country and that this had informed the renaming of the Ministry of Communications to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. On the heels of the re-christening, Pantami recalled that the Federal Government emplaced Digital Nigeria-oriented policies to reinforce the focus of existing policies in order to accelerate the delivery of derivable benefits of digital economy to Nigerians, regardless of their locations and circumstances.