The newly appointed Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Olubusola Johnson is banking on the efforts of her predecessors in office to deliver on the mandate of the ministry which is summarised in three stands.
Speaking at the 2011 edition of the Nigerian Telecoms Awards which held at the weekend in Lagos in an address entitled ‘Nigeria, to Technology Age’ Mrs. Johnson said she would leverage on what she described as a “substantial amount of work that has been done by predecessors to this Ministry.”
Mrs. Johnson summarised the mandate of the newly created Ministry of Communications Technology to include “Development of appropriate policies that will facilitate the build out of a ubiquitous reliable and cost effective ICT infrastructure across the country.”
She also said that the mandate comprised of driving support and encouragement for the utilisation of infrastructure through wide spread ownership of ICT devices, digital content production, application development and the deployment of public and private services on the infrastructure.”
Additionally, she said her ministry was charged to leverage ICT to drive the effectiveness and efficiency of the public service.
ICT, she said, would provide the bedrock infrastructure, access and applications for a real-time mobile health (m-health) solutions where all disciplines and stakeholders of healthcare delivery system would be integrated.
“Mobile healthcare delivery, central healthcare databases, remote healthcare service delivery will be powered by sustainable ICT infrastructure and healthcare applications,” she said.
In the next decade, Mrs. Johnson said, Nigeria looks forward to ICT-empowered educational content delivery, with potential of streaming educational content and access to the intent from urban educational institutions to the remotest schools, thereby bridging the internal digital divide in the country.
Also in the next decade, she expects ICT to provide the infrastructure to improve agriculture productivity and connect rural farmers to urban consumers of their products through better pricing mechanisms and mobile solutions that provide much needed information about soil, weather patterns and agricultural extension services.
As said by her, the Ministry of Communications Technology by next decade, will be refocusing government agencies charged with both the regulation and policy implementation and quite importantly the industry stakeholders to align the ICT4D strategic plan with the new ICT policy and move very quickly from strategy to execution.Remmy Nweke
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