Bayelsa State Government on Monday urged the National Council of Communication Technology (NCCT) to focus more on the development of Information Communication Technology (ICT) local content towards strengthening ICT infrastructure across the country.
Governor Seriake Dickson stated this in Yenagoa, while declaring open, the 3rd regular meeting of the NCCT, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology and the Bayelsa State Government with the theme, “Mainstreaming ICT in National Development: Moving from Talk to Action.”
Represented the Deputy Governor, Retired Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, Governor Dickson attributed the under-development of local industries to the over-dependence on the importation of software and hardware into the country, which he noted has inhibited the growth of domestic economic opportunities as well as capacity building.
Accordingly, he enjoined members of the council to deliberate extensively on broadband download performance, development of ICT in governance to promote accountability and efficiency as well as networking with major ICT companies.
While expressing optimism that, the highlights in the agreement between the Bayelsa State and Federal Ministry of Communication Technology would be adequately addressed in view of the economic benefits accruable to both parties, the Governor also appealed to the council to discourage free access to what he referred to as, unholy websites by youths, as it would affect their moral standards.
In her remarks, the Minister for Communication Technology, Dr. OmobolaJohnson recommended that, each state should hold ICT workshops, with the objective of creating awareness about the wealth of opportunities, that are derivable for youths.
Dr. Johnson, who said that, with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ministry would commence an ICT programme in all the 36 states, noting that about 500 to 1000 youths would be trained in each state, noting that upon the completion of the training, the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology will in collaboration with state governments, establish a monitoring framework to assess revenue generated and jobs created from theprogramme.
Also speaking, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Science and Technology and Manpower Development, Deacon Ndutimi Komonibo, expressed the hope that, Bayelsa would become a global ICT hub, when the MOU it signed with the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology and Broadband Council is concretized to make the State one of the Smart States Initiative.
Highlighting the efforts of government in ICT infrastructural development, Deacon Komonibo said, a state of the art ICT building known as, the Centre of Excellence, in line with the world ICT infrastructural facility practices was ongoing, building and equipping of ICT centres across the 8 local government areas, implementation of the E-governance project, installation of surveillance cameras in security management, deployment of ICT in educational institutions among others.