Last year, the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, set up a taskforce to access how much impact the information and communication technologies deployed in Nigeria is having on the socio-economic development of the country.
The Committee has completed the survey and is ready to make public, its findings.
NITDA has in statement signed by its acting head of corporate communication, Hadiza Umar said the survey, tagged Scan-ICT is aimed to support Nigeria’s transition to an information society by building the capacity to collect and manage the kind of information and data that supports and engineers ICT’s growth and investment.
According to the statement “the Scan-ICT Nigeria project, desk research and field work had been carried out in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria in addition to a pilot-scheme that was undertaken in Lagos. This work was done in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The questionnaires and sampling techniques were approved by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).”
The agency has planned to hold Scan-ICT Nigeria stakeholders’ validation workshop on 26th April, 2012 in Abuja, while the official release of findings will be conducted on 30th April, 2012 at NITDA Headquarters, Abuja.
Scan-ICT is an initiative launched by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Government of Finland to make available quality data on ICT activities in Africa. It will create an enabling environment for the compilation of ICT indicators to be part of the activities of National Statistical Offices.
The project was designed to build support for the phased development of a comprehensive African capability to collect and manage information on key Information Societies and ICT4D-related indicators to support the growing investment that African countries are making into ICT infrastructure development deployment.
Director General of the agency, Prof. Cleopas Angaye said the initiative will further enhance the presence of Nigeria in the global information society.
“We are aware of the proliferation of various IT initiatives and activities in Nigeria in the last few years,” he said. “To a large extent, this has contributed to the level of IT development and deployment at both the public and private sectors, however, not much has been done to measure their impact on the lives of people. The Scan ICT Nigeria is therefore a major component of the methodology of achieving successful measurement of specific IT indices that are very relevant to our socio economic development through the collaborations of the representatives of major sub sectors in the IT industry in Nigeria.”
Angaye also stated that the Scan –ICT initiative was introduced mainly to measure the impact of IT on the citizens of countries it would support the transition to information society by building the capacity to collect and manage the kind of information and data that engineers investment in the sector.
In Nigeria there is the dearth of relevant data on the impact of IT in every aspect of human lives despite the huge market and financial resources already committed to this sector in the last few, hence the initiative is timely.
Former minister of state for information and communications who the chairman of Scan-ICT Committee, Dasuki Nakande said most of the projects in Nigeria were not monitored for relevant impact, citing that the Universal Service Provision Fund of the Nigerian Communications Commission has not delivered on its mandate because of the obvious disconnect between the government and the communities receiving the projects.
“USPF for example is to bridge the digital divide in the underserved areas of our economy but the challenge has always been that when these projects are being executed, they give generators... you find that because there is no buying-in of that particular project between government and the communities, even to buy fuel to power those facilities becomes a major challenge for them. Invariably at the end, the facilities are left to rot. So this initiative will actually help to determine what we have on ground and the impact it will have on our people.”
Also Afework Temtime of the ICT policy development sector of Economic Commission for Africa said that that the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa has been working closely with NITDA on the ICT policy. “Scan ICT is very crucial and every nation is expected to implement it to support the national ICT agenda,” he said.