THE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has increased its ICT intervention fund for universities and other institutions of learning in Nigeria from N1 billion in 2014 to N8 billion this year. The Commission sees the increase as a way of preparing the country for the digital economy that will be boosted by the imminent broadband revolution.
The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Commission, Dr. Eugene Juwah, in a document circulated to journalists in May, said that the money would provide a lift for four old generation and four new generation universities in the country. He said: “The fund will be used for e-learning centres in these universities to enable and facilitate learning online, real time whereby a professor can teach several thousands of students without co-locating with them.
“This is part of our mandate to intervene and deepen Information and Communication Technology (ICT) penetration in our universities and other tertiary institutions of Learning.” Juwah said that no government agency in the country had built and empowered schools through provision of ICTs more than the NCC. “NCC promotes broadband penetration in these institutions as a major objective. So we want to transform the face of ICT in the country through our various interventions,” he stated.
Although not part of the NCC’s core mandate, it tries to focus on areas where there is growing need of ICT, such as these universities and tertiary institutions of learning, Juwah stated.
Among these interventions is the Advanced Digital Awareness Programme for Tertiary
Institutions (ADAPTI), aimed at improving the ability of resource persons engaged in imparting knowledge. ADAPTI was introduced to close the digital gulf existing in the academia with the provision of computers and other ICT facilities to equip the lecturers and other experts in order to improve their ICT skills and to enrich the students. The ADAPTI Programme supports Tertiary Institutions with the Provisions of 110 laptops with E-learning facilities. The objective is specifically designed to provide tools that support flexibility and mobility in the use and application of ICT in teaching and research. Over 300 institutions of higher learning have benefitted from the programme since its introduction in 2008.
Wireless Cloud Project
The Wireless Cloud Project provides a platform for supporting campus-wide wireless access to Internet service for teaching, learning, research and development. The Commission provides the infrastructure, 12 months bandwidth supply, and 12 months maintenance support.
Tertiary Institutions Knowledge Centre (TIKC) Project
Formerly known as the Tertiary Access Project (TiAP), this programme is aimed at facilitating connectivity to broadband internet with speeds of up to 1Mbps in selected tertiary institutions thus facilitating a digital lifestyle. Each institution that has benefited from the project received a total of 100 computers, 100 sets of chairs and tables, two printers with network facilities and fire walls with broadband Internet connectivity.
University Inter Campus Connectivity (UnICC)
The University Inter Campus Connectivity (UnICC) initiative is a collaborative project between the Commission’s Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) and the National Universities Commission (NUC) to facilitate the provision of ICT infrastructure for the National Research and Education Network (NREN) by inter-connecting teaching hospitals and medical colleges to their respective Federal universities.
In the second phase of the project, relevant electronic components will be deployed in each of the benefitting universities to enable voice, data, video, and other multimedia services such as tele-presence to be achieved both intra-university and inter-universities.
Digital Access Programme (DAP)
The NCC has also empowered several secondary schools across the 36 states and FCT with ICT tools via the Digital Awareness Programme (DAP). So far, no fewer than 262 secondary schools have benefited from the programme.
The DAP project supports secondary schools with the provision of 21 desktop computers, Local Area Network, printers, scanners, VSAT Dish and one year bandwidth subscription for internet access, after which the institution will be responsible for its renewal. These facilities are complemented with standby generators and construction of computer laboratory. The objective of this programme is to facilitate ICT awareness, teaching and learning in schools. So far, more than 262 schools have benefitted from the Digital Access Programme (DAP).happy wheels