The need for students to embrace digital opportunities to develop their skills and compete better in the labour market has again been stressed by speakers at the 2017 edition of the Nigeria Digital Innovation Conference held recently at the Polytechnic Ibadan.

The conference, which was facilitated by the Centre for Cyber Awareness and Development (CECAD) held at the Assembly Hall, The Polytechnic Ibadan had in attendance representatives of top government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

This year’s edition with the theme: ‘Building a new Nigeria in a Digital Economy was extensively discussed by the representatives of government agencies like: National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and the Ministry of Communications.

In his presentation, Mr. Reuben Muoka representing the Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of the Nigeria Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta took the largely students audience through the recent activities of the commission in regulating the Telecoms operators, keeping them on their toes for optimal performances in both their voice and data services since their service is also of great importance to driving the new digital economy.

“In September 2016, we made a detailed presentation of the status and milestones achieved with the 8-Point Agenda. The 8-Points Agenda was conceptualized alongside the aspiration of government for comprehensive economic growth, and our desire to channel available regulatory resources towards achieving availability, accessibility and affordability of telecommunications services, which are mostly being driven today by broadband, and related technologies and services.”

According to the EVC, the eight point agenda includes: Broadband Penetration, Quality of Service Improvement, Optimization of Spectrum Benefits, Promoting ICT Innovations and Investment Opportunities, Strategic Collaborations and Partnerships, Consumer Protection and Empowerment, Promotion of Fair Competition and Inclusive Growth and the Regulatory Excellence and Operational Efficiency.

From the organizers, Hilary Damissah who is the Director of Operations and Strategies at the Centre for Cyber Awareness and Development, CECAD, says the importance of broadband internet access and its affordability was critical to sustainable digital innovation, hence as an organization CECAD was committed to creating avenues that will further help articulate more awareness and opportunities. He praised the attendance of students, management and staff of The Polytechnic Ibadan for making this year’s edition a huge success.

On his part, Director General of NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, who was represented by Mr. Chris Onyekuruka made a presentation titled “Annexing Data as a Tool for Economic Development & Innovation”. “As a nation, we need to ensure we have accurate data to help planning, project implementation for social economic gains” he emphasized.

Also, from the Nigeria Internet registration Association, NIRA, the President Mr. Sunday Folayan who was physically present took the audience through the industrial revolutions of the past until the digital revolution which tends to be the biggest of them all.

From the private sector, ICT consultant and entrepreneur Gbenga Sesan led other innovators in opening up fresh opportunities to the undergraduates. The Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife graduate of Electrical/Electronic related his experience and odyssey in his ICT journey which, according to him started about two decades ago as an undergraduate at the OAU.

Other private entrepreneurs present include: Mr. Kingsley Roberts (Cyber Security Expert), Akinmade Akintoye of Cloudware Technology, Ahmed Afolabi (Technology Designer).

The Polytechnic Ibadan Rector, Professor Olatunde O Fawole who was represented by the Deputy Rector, Mr. Bayo Oyeleke said the institution as a citadel of Technological innovation thanked the organizers of the event for deeming it fit as host of this year’s edition.

The Student Union Government’s president, Comrade Kuyoro Olumuyiwa Emmanuel also on behalf of the students thanked the organizers and expressed optimism on huge benefits to the students.


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