Nigeria plans zero rating for educational websites as digital economy contributes more to GDP



Prof Isa Pantami, Minister of Communication and Digital Economy

Nigeria plans zero rating for educational websites as digital economy contributes more to GDP

With the impact of COVID-19 on the education sector, the federal government has said it plans to pursue a new national policy on zero scoring on educational websites that would allow consumption of content at no cost to one. normal data plan.

Politics, according to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM during his opening speech during a webinar organized by Lead Inspire Network on the theme: “Enhancing Virtual Learning and the Challenges of Internet Penetration in Nigeria ”, would contain appropriate incentives for mobile network operators and Internet service providers.

Speaking through the Director of Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions of the National Information Technology Development Agency, Dr Usman Gambo Abdullahi, the Minister agreed that sufficient access to The Internet is essential for the development of an information society, adding that the government is striving to increase broadband penetration from its current levels.

“Currently, broadband penetration stands at 40.18% and the plan is to reach 70% by 2025. This is the goal we have set ourselves in the Nigerian national broadband plan. . This will greatly benefit the education sector. We would focus more on putting in place the right content, infrastructure, learning and teaching capacities, ”he said.

While assuring that the ministry would deepen broadband penetration through the creation of public Internet service access, the minister acknowledged that agencies under his supervision such as NITDA, NCC / USPF, in accordance with their mandates, have made considerable progress in this regard.

He said that “we have been able to establish digital centers, capacity training centers, electronic accessibility centers, school knowledge centers, electronic libraries and ICT centers and parks of innovation across the country. In just one year, we’ve deployed over 200 across the country. These centers, mostly located in rural areas, are equipped with at least 25 computers, an emergency power supply and free internet service. In addition to providing free internet services, the centers also serve as innovation hubs and learning centers for the local community.

The minister said the NITDA has issued a framework and guidelines for public internet access to regulate most of the approaches the government is considering to deepen internet penetration and bridge the digital divide.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission, who was represented by a Commission Director Dr Henry Nkemadu, said the pandemic has taken education to a new level that requires a new paradigm.

While listing the challenges of low penetration to include high cost of right-of-way, multiple taxation, operating expenses and the economic downturn, he said the minister was working diligently to reduce some of these bottlenecks. strangulation.

One of the organizers of the webinar and co-founder of Lead Inspire Network, Sope Afolayan, said the event was organized to advance the discussion on how to provide equal access to children of “caregivers” and children. “Not having” and to reorient the thinking of policy makers on the need to see the acquisition of education beyond the four walls of the classroom.

In another development, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami said that the digital economy in the near future will contribute more than 45% to the country’s GDP, the contribution of the ICT sector alone is now 17%.

Pantami, made this known during an address at the Virtual Forum on Internet Governance in Nigeria 2020 (vNIGF) on the theme: “Achieving inclusive digital economic development in the post-COVID 19 era”.

He said that in July 2020 the broadband penetration level was 42.0% and would reach at least 50% by the end of the year.

“We are taking advantage of the Covid-19 era to achieve the development of the digital economy,” said the Minister of Communication.

In his goodwill message, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, represented by the Director of E-Government Development and Regulation, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, called the event appropriate.

He added that “as this is a new era, it is important for the government to ensure that the infrastructure it needs to keep governance operational when all government organizations are fully committed to using the Internet. is already in place ”.

Abdullahi, argued that the campaign to move government businesses online, i.e. e-governance, has now become a reality, adding that there is no choice but for the government to providing its services online, which could only be achieved with corporate internet governance.

The NITDA boss revealed that the Federation’s service chief’s office is set to officially endorse and recommend virtual meetings, programs and workshops for all government officials in the country to ease the economy. digital.

“A lot of people see e-governance as a bigger calamity, but I see it as a bigger benefit for the industry,” said the CEO.

Wrong. Abdullahi, said that with the pandemic, remote working has become the norm even in the world, adding that: “Whether you are a developed or a developing country, in the public or private sector, you don’t have to. no choice but to use the Internet to deliver on your services.

By PRNigeria

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