Wednesday, February 03, 2010

USPF is committed to its mandate – Fayomi

Secretary, Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Mr. Funso Fayomi, has said that the agency is working assiduously in line with its original mandate as outlined in the Nigerian Communications Act 2003.

Mr. Fayomi who spoke recently in Sokoto at one of the USPF launch said that they have continuously tried to keep to the mandate of providing universal access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to all Nigerians.

“The USPF has found that collaboration between governments, community based organisations, the private sector and other stakeholders is the best approach,” he said.

On the public sector, he said, it would typically provide the financial backbone while the communities and the private sector remain the primary drivers for the implementation and sustenance of services.

He also said that USPF has been designed to promote widespread availability and usage of network services throughout the country by encouraging the installation of network facilities and the provision of network services to institutions and to unserved and underserved areas and groups in the country.

Hence, Mr. Fayomi noted that USPF holds in trust the interface of the government with the Nigerian people in facilitation and enhancement of network availability and service quality where otherwise it would have been impossible.

He brought to mind that at the last quarter of 2009, USPF began the implementation template which paved the way for the organization to launch projects in different parts of the country.

ITRealms Online recalled that these projects encouraged the Minister of State for Information and Communications, Alhaji lkra Aliyu Bilbis, that he promised that Nigeria plans to create a million jobs through ICT in the next few years.

Offering more insight, he said, that across the six geo-political zones of the country, USPF has 115 Community Communications Centres (CCC) and 76 subsidised Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) at different levels of completion.

Additionally, he said, USPF has provided 476 government secondary schools with 100 computers, a 5KVA generator and broadband connectivity (per school) under the School Access Programme (SAP), 68 Tertiary Institutions with 100 desktops and broadband connectivity (per school) under the TiAP Project.

He explained that under the CCC project, USPF aimed at establishing centres that will extend voice, Internet, ICT training and other services to unserved communities on shared basis.

“Each centre will provide a public calling centre, cybercafé and ICT training courses, as well as serve as platform from which to wirelessly extend Internet access to surrounding communities,” he said.

On the BTS project, he disclosed that it has been designed to accelerate access to telephony and data services in unserved and underserved communities while the SAP projects are targeted at developing ICT capacity at the foundation level.

“The project provides computers, accessories and high speed internet connection to selected schools, including laptops for teachers,” he said.

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