Agaju Madugba, Katsina
Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State says his government was committed to the development of the Information and Communication Technology sector with the ultimate desire to adopt e-governance in the administration of the state.
Speaking on Tuesday in a message he sent at the commissioning of an ICT Hub for the Katsina State Institute of Technology and Management, Masari described education as the administration’s topmost priority with Science and Technology as the focus.
The ICT Hub is a joint programme of the Katsina State Government and the National Information Technology Development Agency.
According to Masari, his administration, “is giving unrelenting attention to champion of the the build-up process towards ultimate e-governance in the state, in no distant future.
Furthermore, according to Masari, apart from serving as centre for training and research development , Institute will also enhance the economic development the people, especially the teeming population of the unemployed in the state.
The Secretary to Katsina State Government, Alhaji Mustapha Inuwa, represented Masari at the ceremony at and read his address.
Masarii said, “This ICT Hub will engender active knowledge transfer among researchers and business experts, on the one hand, and industry, government and representatives of the academia, on the other hand.
“It is also designed to increase digital penetration, provide the youth access to digital and on-line content through e-learning applications for more effective learning and self-empowerment.
“Here, decision makers can brainstorm with scientists and business experts to discuss their complex business challenges.
” It will also provide community-based platform for e-governance, tele-medicine and other e-services”
Earlier in his remarks, the NITDA, Director-General, Isa Ibrahim Pamtami, noted that the Federal Government seeks to minimise its dependency on oil by diversifying the economy to evolve entirely new industries and enable the existing ones.
According to him, “We strongly believe that the main driver of these industries is ICT. Therefore, we must encourage and empower our pool of young talented youths to take advantage of the digital era.
“Having lost the opportunities of the industrial age, Africa, with 15 percent of the world population, cannot afford to miss the opportunities of the digital age. Nigeria and her sub-nationals are major factors in the African and global digital transformation.
“As an Agency, our responsibility is to encourage and coordinate ICT innovations that can transform our dear country.
“We believe critical drivers of the digital economy and engine room of economic growth are the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that are empowered with ICT tools.
“These realities informed our decision to establish an ICT Innovation Hub in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country as pilots. This is a strategic move to support His Excellency President Muhammad Buhari’s commitment of addressing unemployment by making ICT tools available for the youths to significantly encourage and promote digital innovation and job creation in Nigeria.
“It is also a deliberate attempt targeted at Digital Job Creation – one of the key focus areas of the Agency’s Strategic Roadmap. For us the vision is very clear and our focus is strategic.
“We have carefully chosen Katsina State in the North West for the ICT Innovation Hub because we believe in the vision of the State as far as ICT is concerned. Katsina State is one of the most populous states in Nigeria, with a high number of productive youth.
“These are assets that can be leveraged upon for immediate growth opportunities in the state’s critical sectors.
“Furthermore, we are aware that the state has been providing an enabling environment that encourages strategic partnerships on initiatives that attract investments in ICT and other sectors of the economy.”