Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spio-Garbrah leads speakers @ USPF consultative series

The Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation (CTO), Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, would be speaking alongside his counterpart at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe and the Executive Secretary, Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Mr. Funso Fayomi, at the first-ever consultative forum on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) with the theme ‘ICT for all consultation’ series by USPF.

Head, Corporate Services, USPF, Mr. Okoh Aihe, made the disclosure, weekend, saying that the forum is a major interface with the Nigerian public in form of series of consultations to engender capacity building for stakeholders.

He also said the forum which holds today, Wednesday in Ibadan would move to Yola next week and would be held across all the geo-political zones of the country.

According to him, the series tagged ‘Stakeholders Consultation Forum and Capacity Building,’ the Consultation series, have been planned to afford various stakeholders, who are the beneficiaries of USPF projects, financial institutions, ICT entrepreneurs, community-based organisations, opinion leaders, network operators and other development partners, the opportunities to suggest ways of improving implementation of ICT programmes of USPF.

Thus, he said, it is a major quest by the agency to actualize its vision of “ICT Access for all” as well as meet the objectives of the Federal Government on ICT access to the unreached and disadvantaged people in far-flung parts of the country.

In achieving this, he said, USPF is taking ICT access to the populace, even as they are partnering CTO to make it a success.

Therefore, he pointed out that the consultation would provide channels for frank talks and above all, learning in order to take USPF to a new level of performance.

Other issues expected to be addressed during the first two series, he said, would the presentation of USPF mandate and strategic Plan 2007 – 2011, Key Issues impacting Rural Connectivity, Rural Connectivity Finance, Financial Models for Rural Connectivity, Appropriate Technologies for Rural Communities Off-the-grid, Available Rural Connectivity Solutions, and a host of other issues.

He explained that USPF was prepared to hear from representatives of selected communities who will speak about their community needs and priorities in ICTs, assuring that information received from the forum would assist these communities to better articulate those needs.

He enjoined Nigerians to take advantage of the consultations series and come out with more creative ways that could help USPF to be more relevant to the country, especially for local dwellers.

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