By Our Reporter
Aware of the significant role technology innovations play as driver for development, Nasarawa State Government said it committed 30 percent of its 2020 budget to education and ICT, in order to encourage girls and young women to consider studies and careers in ICT.
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule made this known while delivering his goodwill message at the official flag off of a week-long ICT empowerment training and provision of tools for women from the North Central zone, organized by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), in Lafia, on Wednesday.
Engineer Sule said his administration places high premium on technology innovation, especially now that ICT has become a veritable vehicle to stimulate national economy through the provision of numerous opportunities for economic growth and self-reliance.
He further stressed that his administration is desirous of closing the gap in female participation in the ICT sector, by enabling girls and young women and technology companies reap the benefits of greater female participation.
The Governor said it was for this reasons and more, that it has become necessary to empower women through ICT for self-reliance, especially that women are underrepresented as entrepreneurs and business managers.
Engineer Sule used the opportunity to highlight the interventions so far recorded by his administration in the area of ICT development across the state.
He specifically mentioned the rehabilitation and furnishing of existing structure on the ICT Centre as a pilot project, with arrangements concluded for the construction of technology innovation hubs in Lafia, Akwanga, Keffi and Karu Local Government Areas.
The Governor disclosed that already, 21 hectares of land has been acquired along Keffi-Karu axis for this same purpose, adding that, in order to consolidate on efforts towards knowledge and technology driven society, JAMB has provided equipment worth over N200m which were installed at the CBT Centre provided by Government.
Engineer Sule equally commended NITDA for donating 100 laptops for the Lafia ICT hub, as well as for approving the construction of computer laboratories in three of the state-owned educational institutions.
While assuring NITDA of continued support and collaboration towards making Nasarawa ICT driven, the Governor thanked the agency for choosing the state as venue for the North Central training.
He therefore called on the participants to utilize the opportunity of the training to gain ICT knowledge towards building an information technology society to ensure inclusiveness in emerging digital revolution.
Earlier in his remarks, Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, disclosed that the training is meant to facilitate active involvement and increase the number of women participation in ICT, as well as provide them with digital skills for entrepreneurship.
Abdullahi said NITDA selected 100 women from across the six states of the North Central zone and the FCT, to participate in the training focusing on key areas of ICT such as communication and graphic design, business management and entrepreneurship skills.
According to the NITDA boss, each of the participant is also expected to train at least three other women, raising the total number of beneficiaries to 300.
“When women are empowered, families get stronger, and children have better access to quality health care and education. This training is designed to empower 100 women from North Central States and we expect them to train at least 3 women each, making it 300,” Abdullahi stated.
While congratulating the participants, he urged them to use the skills in order to impact positively on the society.
The NITDA DG equally appreciated Engineer Sule for reaching out to support and collaborate with the agency which he said explained the choice of Nasarawa State as venue for the North Central zone training.
Highlight of the flagging off ceremony was the symbolic distribution of laptops to six participants representing the six states in the zone.