Plateau seeks partnership with NITDA on ICT devt
The Plateau State Government has solicited the support of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in the deployment of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the institutions of higher learning in the state.
Speaking when he paid a courtesy visit on the Acting Director-General of NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, in Abuja, the state Deputy Governor, Prof. Sonni Gwamle Tyoden, observed that the state is trying to build libraries using the digital resources and also intend to set up E-library that would aid teaching in institutions of higher learning in the state.
He said: “We cannot underscore the role of ICT in teaching learning and research which is very critical for us and that is the main reason we are here. We are also looking at areas of providing access to students to access ICT though the level of ICT penetration is still very low and students are the most affected considering the situation in Plateau state and therefore we would appreciate if you can increase ICT access to our students in higher institutions and of course areas of network infrastructure is also very key in this partnership and so we also want to solicit the this should include network infrastructure that will help the access and so basically these are our areas of concern for now.
“ICT is a critical component of knowledge in this and we feel that an organization like NITDA can help us and partner with us and see how we can add value to the institutions both in terms of helping us within the extent of capacity building and also addressing issue of having relevant infrastructure in the ICT area.”
Tyoden noted that the state is in the process of setting up its ICT adding that NITDA had at a time, agreed to help draft an ICT policy for the state.
Responding, Olatunji noted that NITDA was established to assist the country to effectively deploy ICT in all sectors for sustainable socio economic development.
He recalled that the agency has done a lot in Plateau state especially in the area of ICT infrastructure as NITDA have about 15 centres spread across the state.
He said, “ We are still doing more and we intend to do more. But one major area that is important is the IT policy which is the guideline of operations to tell you what to do and we are moving forward to extend to having a strategic plan to tell you what to do and I am happy that Plateau is one of the states that we have chosen this year and what we do is to look at the policy area in the state and assist them in developing appropriate strategies that can position the state through ICT.”
Olatunji assured that the ICT Policy for Plateau state may be ready within the next three months and appealed to the state government to ensure that it sets up an IT development agency as soon as the policy is developed and handed over to it.He suggested that the agency should be headed by a technocrat that would really drive the process of implementing the policy.