Wednesday, July 05, 2006

SABI to boost Internet diffusion ... As DBI trains lecturers on ULR

Remmy Nweke

TELECOMMUNICATIONS regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has introduced the State Accelerated Bandwidth Initiative (SABI) to boost Internet penetration among other services in the country and precisely at the 36-state levels.

This development came as NCC subsidiary and international telecommunications institute, the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) Abuja, has concluded plans to train top-lecturers from higher institutions nationwide, to cushion the manpower requirement in the recently introduced Unified Licensing Regime (ULR)

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, made this disclosure, at a one-day seminar on the Unified Licensing Regime (ULR) hosted by the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) and at the last Telecom Consumers Parliament both held in Lagos.

The Parliament is organised monthly by the Consumer Affairs Bureau of NCC

Represented at the NIG event by the Head, Business Development at NCC, Mr. Nnamdi Nwokike, he dwelt on “Internet Service in the ULR” as the guest speaker.

He said that with SABI on board, the Organised Private Sector (OPS) within the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, such as the Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN), as well as competent ISPs should partake in SABI in order to drive Internet access to the rural people.

As said by him, ISPs would need to work extra miles to ensure that there is a control of access to objectionable content such as adult materials to protect children and vulnerable individuals in the society.

Noting that Internet engineers and technologists are still very few in Nigeria relative to the demand. He stressed that the result is that innovations from the home-front are almost non-existent as “we depend on the advanced countries.”

Based on this, Dr. Ndukwe revealed at the Parliament weekend, that DBI has concluded plans to train Nigerian lecturers from the higher institutions on ICT so as to prepare them for the new regime.

This, he said, would also enable them to groom their students for the regime as well.

Elucidating on the training of lecturers, chief executive, DBI, Dr. Olasupo Ogunfemi, disclosed that funds have been sourced but the training would be in batches so as to optimise the real meaning behind the project.

He also said that DBI management is excited over the project and ready to kick off.

It would be recalled that recently, DBI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri Imo State, in its premises at Utako District Abuja.

Equally, a 31-member delegation from the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in United States, paid a one-day visit to the institute, recently.

The team, received on arrival by DBI boss, Dr. Ogunfemi. He was accompanied by the EVC of NCC Dr. Ndukwe and some senior members of staff at DBI, directors as well as commissioners from NCC.

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