Bayelsa State Hosts The Third Regular Meeting Of National Council On Communication Technology NCCT At Yenagoa Sept.11-16 2014.

By Nwokedi Nworisara

As a background,the National Information Technology (IT )policy was developed in 2000 approved by the FEC in March 2001 to implement the policy. A National committee was inaugurated by the Hon. Minister of Science and Tech.,Prof. Touner Isoun,to develop the Nigerian ICT for Development( ICT4D) strategic Action Plan under the supervision of NITDA in order to ensure the effective and structured implementation of the policy.

The members of the committee were drawn from Nigerians with proven Integrity and competence in Research and Development in their various areas of expertise especially in IT profession. There was financial and technical support from the United Natuons Economic Commission for Africa ( UNECA).

The ICTDA document addressed the under listed sectors on the National economy:

a. Health

b. Agriculture.

c. Education.

d. Research and Development

e. Human Resources Development.

f. Governance and Legislature.

g. National Security and law Enforcement.

h. Electronic Government.

i. Infrastructure.

j. Private Sector.

k. Awareness, Popularization and Development.

The National ICT4D strategic plan of action presents Nigeria's roadmap for development of information and knowledge based society and economy as a means of facilitating the realization of national Socio-economic development.

Already strategies have been made for the following areas.

1. e-legislature.

2. e-Health

3. e- Agriculture.

4. e- Deployment and popularization.

5. e- education

6. e- security.

7. e- governance

8. e- Human capital development.

9. e-infrastructure.

10. e-Private sector development.

11. e-research and development.


Now what the Regular meetings of the National Council on Communication Technology NCCT does is to help states implement relevant sections of these strategies in their domain through a structured framework that allows the process to be tracked and challenges identified and corrected under the technical supervision of the Federal Agency NITDA . As expected this is a work for technical people not necessarily for politicians so the Permanent Secretaries of States as well as relevant Federal agencies.

The meeting was declared open by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State who are the Co sponsors ,ably represented by the Hon .Commissioner For Science and Technology and Manpower Development Elder Indutimi Komonibo. In declaring the Technical Session open yesterday,the Governor said that with the world now becoming a global village and the invaluable place of ICT in business and development of the State it was easy for him approve the hosting of this epoch making ICT event in Bayelsa,the Glory of All Land.

He said Bayelsa was fully committed to employing ICT in the Restoration strategy of development as exemplified by the use of CCTV cameras ,etc to assist security of the State. Dr Tunji Olaopa ,permanent Secretary of the Federal Min. of Communication in his welcome address stated that "Nigeria (from 2012-2014) has moved 21 places up the ladder in the United Nations E- Governance development index and the 22 places in the E-participation index. With all these rapid development it has become important for us to focus on the area of cyber security to ensure that all the critical services and infrastructure that are being moved online are properly protected and secured. In this regard we are working with all stakeholders to pass the cyber crime bill .

The national information tech. development agency NITDA has also established a national computer emergency response team to monitor and protect our online resources against attacks." He also praised Bayelsa state and Governor ,Governor Henry Seriake Dickson for being in the forefront of the Development of ICT in the country.

Delegates who gave a standing ovation for the countryman governor whose open government and the use of the e -governance tools. Permanent Secretary of the Bayelsa State Min of Science,Technology and Manpower Development DCNS Philomina O. Aladei as the face of host Bayelsa at the Meeting welcomed delegates to the think thank session and reiterated the achievements of the State in the area of ICT. She said Bayelsa was honored to be chosen to host the meeting adding that Bayelsa State had created a department for ICT with a view to upgrading it into a ministry.

She said the Theme of the meeting was apt: Mainstreaming ICT in national development-Moving from talk to action. Since no nation can achieve sustainable development without developing its ICT sector. She enumerated the many achievements of the Restoration government of Bayelsa State in the area of ICT development to include signing an MOU with the Federal Ministry of Science and Tech on the Smart State initiative ;the sustained use of e governance measures including the Oracle HR for pay rolling as well checking financial fraud. Workers use clock in machines to reduce ghost worker syndrome.

There is the Bayelsa State Geographic information services as well as employment of CCTV to boost security . She announced plans to ensure that every Bayelsa student gets a laptop while a state of the arts ICT centre is rising at Yenagoa capital city. She invited the delegates to feel free to enjoy Famed Bayelsa state Hospitality in the course of their stay. Many other state representatives gave report of the ICT development status of their States while responding to matters arising from the report of the last meeting. Everywhere there was progress even though some states wanted a national directive as impetus to urge their governments to this desirable direction.

Nwokedi Nworisara
For Bayelsa State Social Media Committee

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