Wednesday, April 01, 2009

FG backs NCC on DAP, SABI roll out

The Federal Government, last weekend, declared support for two schemes being championed by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), namely the Digital Awareness Project (DAP) and the State Accelerated Broadband Initiative (SABI).

Minister of State for Information and Communications, Alhaji Ikra Bilbis, gave this indication at the commissioning of two DAP Centres located at Barewa College, Zaria, and Yusuf Aboki Secondary School, Shika, both in Zaria, and the Advanced Digital Access for Tertiary Institutions, ADAPTI, at Ahmadu Bello University in Kaduna State.

He said that the support is paramount to ensure that Internet and broadband services are taken to semi urban and remote areas of the country to ensure that all citizens benefit from the potentials and resources so the global digital economy.

According to Bilbis, these projects were initiated by the Nigerian Communications Commission, with the support of his ministry in response to the digital information gap existing in the country.

“The project is a demonstration of the Federal Government’s commitment to promote access to information and communications tools which is essential not only for education but for all aspects of human existence,” he said.

Equally, he said, the Federal Government, through his Ministry, would continue to give the necessary support to the Commission to succeed in this initiative and similar ones such as SABI and the Wire Nigeria Project (WIN), which will all contribute to the faster roll out of broadband and Internet connections across Nigeria.

Efforts, he noted, are being put in place by NCC to extend these services to all parts of the country, so as to cover all the six geopolitical zones.

Also speaking at the event, chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, Senator Sylvester Anyanwu, accompanied by members of the Committee at the event, said that National Assembly would provide all the legislative support needed for the implementation of these projects, including approving the appropriate budgets as it has proven to be a very beneficial development project in Nigeria.

Additionally, he said, the National Assembly will ensure that this project is sited in all the geographical zones and that where the students and neighbouring communities utilize this very well, the Senate will encourage the NCC to put more DAP and ADAPTI infrastructure for the schools.

Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Commission, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, said the first phase of the Program was launched in October 2004 with the selection of twelve educational institutions spread across all the geopolitical zones of Nigeria.

“Today, about 221 schools and colleges have benefited from this initiative while this is being complimented by the School Access Programme in which the Universal Service Provision Fund Secretariat has targeted for provision of similar facilities and infrastructure,” he said.

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