By Sarauniya G. Usman, Anuja
As the world mark,World International Telecommunication and Information Day to commemorate the founding of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), CITAD has called on all stakeholders in the country to use the day to reflect on the huge challenges of digital divide and ICT marginalisation in our country.
CITAD made the call today at a press conference to celebrate the world international telecommunication and information day.
According to the Program Officer, Abuja Branch, Miss Salma Abdullawahab, said the main objective of the day is to raise global awareness of societal changes brought about by the internet and new technologies.
CITAD said the aims was to help reduce digital divide.
“November 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society asked the United Nations General Assembly to declare 17h May, as world informationsociety day for showing importance to the information and communication technology and the issues related to the information society raised”.
” The General Assembly adopted a resolution(A/RES/60/252) in March 2006 stipulating that World Information Society Day shall be celebrated every year on 17 May.
“While the world is moving to bridge the standardisation gap with programmes aim to facilitate the participation of developing countries in Information Technology Union’s standards-making process, to disseminate information about existing standards,we in Nigeria are far left behind in terms of accessibility, availability and penetration levels of the internet and its usage”.
This is even worse when it comes to access and use of the internet by women and girls who face many obstacles related to culture, level education and gender norms etc.
“If the country will continue to move in this direction, without developing quick and effective, pragmatic approach towards solving the problems around access to information and the internet through creation of arobust mechanism of bridging the digital divide, the country will remain underdeveloped and thus, our economic and other social problems will further Increase.
CITAD therefore called on government at all levels to ensure there is internet policy on ground that is aimed at solving the digital problems the country in facing.
The called on government to provide an enabling environment for actors willing to contribute in the sector to help mitigate the problems.
The group called on government to set policies that would ensure that citizens have fair access to data free of monopoly of theinternet service providers
The group urged all government agencies must not to only be ICT friendly but stick touse of ICTs in their day to day operations and that it should be made compulsory on all staff to have the basic knowledge and skill of ICT.
The group recommend that government should prepare to address the issue of gender base violence online which is amajor factor that promotes digital marginalisation of women.
“IT Private SectorICT companies working in the country should Include targeting corporate social responsibility projects towards educating and training the citizens in the area of ICT2”.
The also called on CSOs working in the areas of ICTs to promote campaigns and awareness creation among the citizens in need to migrate from the analogue behaviour to digital.
In order to reduce high cost of data and facilities especially in the rural area CSOs and the civil society organisations in the country should Intensify campaign on the need for the citizens to adopt and push taccess and use internet in their endeavours.
stakeholders should work together to leverage these opportunites in our move to push the country forward through making our youth attained their potentals using the instrument of digital technologies.