Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has approved the establishment of a Digital Literacy Council of Nigeria, for the development of a National Policy on Digital Literacy, through which appropriate guidelines and standards in Nigeria would be promoted.
The Council is expected to develop a National Digital Literacy Policy and Strategic Action Plan for the implementation of this initiative as well as identify and harness opportunities for partnerships.
The minister who made this disclosure Tuesday in Lagos, while delivering a keynote address at the 2017 Digital Citizenship Summit Nigeria, at the University of Lagos, said this is in order to provide digital literacy services to Nigerian citizens irrespective of their geographical location within the country.
He added that the Council’s decisions will be implemented by the Digital Literacy Management Committee under the leadership of the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). The Council is already deliberating on its operational methods.
Shittu stressed that “digital literacy is beneficial, because it is a requirement for an individual to be competitive and be best prepared for today’s business world of advanced technology. It makes learning faster, allows everyone to study at his own pace, lookup words, data, facts, figures etc; saves hours per month for tasks that could only be done offline; and a means to employment because most jobs today require some form of computer literacy.”
He further brought to the knowledge of Nigerians, various efforts of the Federal Government in prioritising ICT, such as the plan to establish a specialised ICT Development Bank for the development of the ICT industry. This will cater for the needs of operators in the ICT industry, which the regular banks cannot provide because of the time it takes to develop ICT products and services.
“In present day’s high-tech world, digital literacy is a requirement for an individual to be competitive and be best prepared for today’s business world of advanced technology.”
It is the ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is presented via computers. It came to the fore in the last decade with the advent of platforms and apps that have changed the way our world works.
“There are numerous digital applications that we cannot do without them today such as, Mobile Money transactions, e-verification apps that allow people to verify the authenticity of drugs and other products, e-learning, online transactions, Health, Education, Banking, workforce, bills payments, etc,” he said.
He said the Ministry has done so much to ensure the development of the Information and Communications Technology industry in Nigeria, and has remained committed in its doggedness to address relevant issues despite various challenges facing the sector by working with all stakeholders to provide it with guidance and direction.
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