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Two Million Jobs Can Be Provided Through ICT- Minister Of Communication

The Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu believed the ministry can help reduce the rate of unemployment in Nigeria with its policy road map for the next four years.
The Minister, while addressing a world press conference at Radio House, Abuja said Nigeria loses about $287 million worth or revenue on software piracy from within the country alone but said that the present administration was determined to boost revenue generation through technology savvy workforce and smart government.
This is even as the Managing Director of Nigerian Communication Satellite, Mrs. Abimbola Alale disclosed that Nigeria is expected to earn $400,000 annually from hosting the Belarus satellite and other allied services for the next 15 years.
Contrary to negative perception about the utility of the satellite, she said that the Nigerian Communication satellite had been a revenue generation source to the country through its services to local and foreign customers.
The Minister said that efforts were being deployed to improve efficiency in governance and in general services, eliminating wastes and generating employment for Nigerian’s teeming masses.
He expressed confidence in the ability of the ministry to increasing government receipts within the sector and assured that leakages such as piracy and vandalism of infrastructure which result in high cost of services would be addressed.
‘‘To protect the health and viability of not only the ICT industry but also the creative and performing arts and to harness ICT for e-commerce, we propose to step up intellectual property protection and enforcement mechanisms to ensure we continue to incentivize and promote creativity.
With the Smart government programme and other initiatives, the Minister said he envisaged that a potential two million jobs could be created for Nigeria through the ICT sector under the proposed plans.
According to him, the agenda is expected to guide the ministry in attaining its core mandate in line with the Change mantra of the present administration.
He stated that the communication sector would presently focus on information technology infrastructure development, promotion of ICT local content, ICT deployment in government, extending ICT access to Nigerians and providing an enabling environment for competitiveness in the industry.
He noted that creating a knowledge-based economy had been the key element in CT sector policy-making in the last seventeen years by successive governments and promised to nurture the explosive growth so far witnessed in the sector.
As the first step of the roadmap, the Minister explained that the focus would be on how to reduce both public and private infrastructure deficit in Nigeria’s ICT sector for substantial improvements in quality of service.
In addition to this will be the implementation of the National Broadband Plan.
Other road maps according to him are: Smart Government to deliver ICT and Broadband penetration; growing revenue and reduction of waste; policy as innovative continuity for private sector led continuous innovation; migration to a digitally savvy Nigeria through capacity building, job and wealth creation as well as 2016 Communications sector retreat.
In line with government’s drive to ensure deeper penetration of internet services in the country, Adebayo said plans had been concluded to deploy free broadband services to all tertiary institutions across the country.
He also told the audience that government had concluded to declare all telecommunication infrastructures in the country as critical national infrastructure, as part of efforts to stem the tide of poor quality of service and vandalisation of the facilities.

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