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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

ICT, a strategic resource –Ofulue

A professor of Information Technology (IT), Prof Joseph Ofulue has said that Information and Communications Technology (ICT), if properly harnessed, is a strategic resource that could position the nation well ahead for Vision 2020-20, reports CHARLES OKOH.

Prof Ofulue, who spoke to ITRealms Online in Lagos, weekend, called for an urgent integration of both the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to accelerate rapid applications.

“We must also realise that communications and information technology is a strategic resource and its possession can contribute immensely to economic leadership, poverty alleviation and prosperity acceleration. We immediately need an urgent integrated communications and information technology infrastructure,” he declared.

Ofulue said to prepare for the challenges of the new information economy management action should be taken to accelerate the transformation to the new information economy by introducing communications and information system studies in the curriculum of management development programmes and in higher institutions of learning.

He said telecommunications network companies should be encouraged to continue to expand their systems that are vital to the information infrastructure by complete deregulation of the sector.

Prof. Ofulue said the private sector should fully participate in this sector by manufacturing information technology-based devices and systems to reduce the nation’s present total dependence on imported equipment.

“Strategic long term management must be emphasised and government must shift from qualitative management to quantitative management models and processes in all her programmes and plans,” he said stressing that Vision 2020 should go beyond a dream of accomplishing financial targets or milestones into technology and human capital development mission.

Ofulue who was a former General Manager (Operations), NITEL noted that Vision 202020 must be proactively implemented so that it does not die like others before it.

He also proffered that as a short term measure there is need for immediate review of Nigeria telecommunication and IT policies in view of technology convergence; through all stakeholders consultative forum; implementation of an integrated National Information Communications Infrastructure (NICI project).

“The challenge for us in Nigeria is to shift our focus from merely reacting, consuming products to the task of developing institutional policies and regulatory strategies which will create the conducive environment for its nurturing and full utilization.”

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