By Olubunmi Adeniyi
Lagos February 26, 2013: The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) says it plans to launch a programme called “Wireless Cloud” to boost universal access to ICT tools in 93 higher institutions across the nation.
Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice Chairman, (NCC) dropped the hint at the Commissioning of the Digital Awareness Programme (DAP) held recently at Erijiyan Government High School, Ekiti State.
Juwah, represented by a Member of the NCC Board of Commissioners, Biodun Olujimi says that over 93 higher institutions of learning across Nigeria will benefit from the Wireless Cloud project just as 222 higher institutions have so far benefitted from DAP designed to deepen technology in rural and underserved communities.
NCC says that DAP is part of the major objectives of the Commission to achieve universal access for ICT in Nigeria.
According to Juwah, having achieved greater teledensity with voice telephony, the area of data has become a major focus at the telecoms regulatory agency.
He notes that DAP and related programmes are some of the ways that NCC strives to key the Nigerian youth into accelerated universal access while adding that “by making internet services available to the younger generation, we are helping to build the bridge to connect this generation to the next.”
The components of DAP include an air-conditioned Computer Lab in a property renovated by the Commission and equipped with 20 desktop computers, branded computer tables and chairs, a server, a VSAT connection with a one-year internet bandwidth supply and a 16.5KVA power generator set, he says.
The DAP and related programmes in schools are designed to equip the students and lecturers with the resources to improve on their various skills and endeavours using the latest technologies, says NCC noting that with the availability of these resources, “teachers and lecturers have the opportunity to research and equip themselves for their jobs”.
DAP and a variant called Digital Awareness Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI) are programmes of NCC where it equips secondary and tertiary institutions across the country with ICT facilities to improve their ICT skills.
The programmes also provide access to the internet by providing computers and other infrastructure by establishing a link to the internet to the respective institutions, the telecoms regulator says.
In a related NCC is also building Emergency Communication Centres across state capitals and Abuja, where it provides a centre that would handle and communicate emergency situations to institutions capable of handling them like ambulance services, police, fire service, road safety and similar services as done in other parts of the world.
When completed, Nigerians would be able to dial one number already designated as 122 to reach the centre, according to NCC.
Commenting on the initiative, Oyetunde Oladimeji Ojo, Chairman, House Committee on Communications, commended NCC on the implementation speed of the DAP and ECC projects across the country.
Ojo says the fast implementation these projects indicates how the Commission has faithfully utilised the budgets appropriated to it by the government, especially at this period when the availability of physical infrastructure has become the basic criteria for performance measurement, according to statement by NCC.