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NCC Okays N1Billion Digital Park For Ibadan, Others For Eruwa, Saki, Ipapo, Otu

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The Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC) will soon commence the construction of a N1Billion Digital Park in Ibadan, Oyo State even as it approved other ICT projects for schools in Saki,Ipapo,Eruwa and Otu in the state.The contract for the physical structure has been awarded and the budget of N500Million for the equipment has been approved for the 2022 fiscal year.

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The Chairman of the NCC,Professor Adeolu Akande made the disclosure during a meeting with youth leaders from across the state who had an end- of – the year session with him in Ibadan.

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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 N500million each while the equipment for each is also projected to cost another N500Million each. The projects are scheduled for competing in 2022.

According to the NCC Chairman, 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 the President Muhamadu Buhari Government.

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

iv) 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).

He 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.

Professor Akande also disclosed 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 (6) 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 twenty one (21) desktop computers, Local Area Networks (LAN), printers, scanners, VSAT dish and one-year bandwidth subscription for internet access.

Professor Akande explained that the NCC had earlier provided or improved the Campus Wide Internet Cloud facility at The Polytechnic,Ibadan and the Ladoke Akintola University 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.

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