Posted by News Express | 5 November 2016 | 2,197 times
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, on Saturday called for the full exploitation of the potential of the telecoms industry to drive the nation’s economy and create job opportunities.
Ajimobi made the call at the 1st Annual Retreat of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Telecommunications held at Carlton Gate Exclusive Hotel in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 3-day programme, which began on Friday, has the theme: ‘Telecommunications in Nigeria: Fundamentals, Trends and Challenges.’
Ajimobi, who was represented by Mr. Niyi Ajao, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Information and Communication Technology (ICT), said the state was looking at ICT as a key driver of the state’s economy.
He said the state would soon establish an ICT hub, where it intended to create 20,000 knowledge-driven jobs.
“We have over 400,000 students in Oyo State. We have 2,138 primary schools and 630 secondary schools, out of which only 30 schools benefit from ICT.
“We have been able to transform the state’s economy through ICT, having embraced it in carrying out and monitoring the state’s daily activities.”
He added that the state government recently launched a technology innovation fund, adding that the state was willing to partner with relevant Federal Government agencies.
Ajimobi listed the bodies for partnership as the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and other Telecoms providers.
Similarly, Hon. Saheed Fijabi (APC-Ibadan South-West) said that the contribution of telecommunications could facilitate the nation’s exit from its current economic challenges, if fully explored.
Fijabi, who is the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Telecommunications, said the industry was a viable and sustainable means of generating revenue.
“There is tremendous increase in telecommunication subscribers from 142 million as at Aug. 2015 to 152 million in Aug. 2016, which is a 5.9 percent increase.
“Teledensity rose from 107.6 per cent in Aug. 2015 to 109.1 percent in Aug. 2016, recording a 1.47 per cent increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
“The FDI in the sector has increased from 32 billion dollars in 2015 to 38 billion dollars in 2016.”
The lawmaker said the House of Representatives was committed to exercising its supervisory powers granted by the constitution and in ensuring that all agencies of government and parastatals maximised their potentials.
According to Fijabi, the essence of the retreat is to identify and examine the impact of the fundamentals, trends and challenges of telecommunications in Nigeria.
Also, Prof. Umar Danbatta, the NCC Executive Vice-Chairman, said the telecoms industry was one of the dynamic sectors in the nation’s economy.
Danbatta, who was represented by Mr. Bakowa Wakil, a Deputy Director and the NCC Head of Wireless Network, called for the committee’s support to move the country’s telecommunications sector forward.
NAN reports that the retreat, facilitated by the NCC, well attended by the committee members, would end on Sunday, Nov. 6. (NAN)
•Photo shows Governor Ajimobi.
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