The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), is set to construct a N1billion digital park in Ibadan, Oyo state.
The commission has also reportedly approved other ICT projects for schools in Saki, Ipapo, Eruwa and Otu communities, all in Oyo state.
The contract for the physical structure of the digital park has been awarded and the budget of N500million for the equipment has been approved in the 2022 budget.
The Chairman of the Commission, Professor Adeolu Akande, made this known during a meeting he had with youth leaders across the state at an end-of-the year session, which recently held in Ibadan, Oyo state capital.
According to him, “The digital park is one of the four approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), as part of efforts to facilitate a digital economy in the country.
“The other three digital parks are located in Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Katsina, Gombe, reflecting a national distribution across four geopolitical zones of the country.
“The physical work of the projects, scheduled for completion in 2022, is projected at N500million each, while the equipment for each is also projected to cost another N500million each.
“When completed, the Digital Park would boost digital skills acquisition among youths, promote innovations, provide jobs for the teeming Nigerian youth and ultimately support the overall digital transformation agenda of the President Muhamadu Buhari government.
“Among others, the Digital ICT Park is to deliver the following benefits: a commercial hub for ICT that will promote entrepreneurial activities in ICT and facilitate smart city deployment across the Digital Industrial Complex;
“Provide Innovation Labs and Digital Fabrication Laboratories (Fablabs) for use by ICT innovators and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into products and prototypes;
“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;
“Facilitate the availability and accessibility of ICT services and promote their usage across the country;
“Build capacity for 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; 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 in order to socially and economically transform communities and societies and;
“Increased digital access for fast-tracking digital innovation across Nigeria to serve as an institutional mechanism to address the needs of technology-intensive, knowledge-based Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)”, he stated.
Professor Akande further stated that the facilities in the digital park would include, but not limited to 100-seater capacity hall, server control room, work space, print room, store, offices and a waiting/reception area.
Others, he said, include a food court, a good of number ICT hubs, halls of various capacities, 24-seater capacity lounge with eight double computer work stands, conveniences and hallway.
Meanwhile, the NCC chairman announced that four secondary schools in Oyo state have been enrolled on the Digital Awareness Programme (DAP) of the commission.
They are Government College, Ibadan; Obaseku High School, Eruwa; Community High School, Ayekale, Saki and Ipapo Community Grammar School, Ipapo.
He said Baptist Primary School, Otu is also benefitting from the new Social Intervention Programme of the federal government.
Meanwhile, the programme is aimed at introduce pupils 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.
As at the last count, the DAP project supports 229 Secondary Schools around the six (6) geopolitical zones, including the FCT.
The aim of the programme, Akande said, is to expose schools and colleges to ICT, raise awareness, usage and application by the provision of 21 desktop computers, Local Area Networks (LAN), printers, scanners, VSAT dish and one-year bandwidth subscription for internet access.
He futher said the NCC had earlier improved the Campus Wide Internet Cloud facility at The Polytechnic, Ibadan and the Ladoke Akintola University and an Internet/ICT facility at the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education in Oyo town.