By Prince Osuagwu
THERE are no two ways for the civil serv
ice to fit into the immediate future dynamics of modern economics, characterized by high level of ICT applications, except for the service to make sure that its workforce is highly ICT literate.
Atleast, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Engr. Ernest Ndukwe, strongly feels so.
However, he was not ready to allow his feelings waste inside him, but appealed to various categories of government to ensure that its workforce is ICT literate to be able to stand the sweeping technological tide that is about to explode in the near future.
Ndukwe used the opportunity of delivering the 4th Anambra State Public Service Lecture, hosted by the Anambra State Government, at Awka, weekend, bring the reality of ICT development, to his kinsmen and the entire Nigerian nation.
At a point in his lecture, titled â€œHarvesting ICT Revolution for Knowledge and Socio-Economic Empowerment and Efficient Service Deliveryâ€, Ndukwe noted that with the fast pace with which Nigeria is catching up in ICT development, it would be foolhardy for the civil service to retain the status quo ante as it were and advocated that all categories of workers become computer literate to be in the position to access the potentials available on the Internet.He listed several programmes introduced by his commission, aimed at improving ICT awareness of the people and ensure that the citizenry is computer literate.
The programmes included the Digital Awareness Programme, DAP, through which a number of secondary schools and universities across the country and several adjourning communities are equipped with computers and Internet facilities to improve on general awareness.
Another is the Advanced Digital Awareness Programme for Tertiary, ADAPTI, through which thousands of university professors and lectures are trained on computer and ICT awareness to equip them to impart knowledge through the use and application of ICT.
This is even as he said that the Universal Service Provision Fund, USPF, has also embarked on similar projects to advance the course of ICT awareness and applications across board.Face to face with a capacity audience, including the Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, the State Commissioners, and a large turnout of civil servants, Ndukwe boasted that his Commission was paying attention to broadband Internet services penetration in the country, through the State Accelerated Broadband Initiative, SABI in which all the state capitals and some urban locations will be the immediate beneficiaries in the first phase.
He noted that all these have manifested in the country witnessing an improved teledensity at more than 50 % and recorded more than 70 Million in active connected lines, an indication of the potentials for ICT penetration in all facets of life including Medicare, education, business, and social interaction among others.
At the end of his lecture, he commended Governor Peter Obi for his programmes aimed at bringing ICT to the door steps of the civil servants and the ordinary citizens of Anambra State.Anambra State Governor, Mr, Peter Obi who responded after the lecture, announced the intention of the state government to unveil a broad plan for the computerization of the civil service in state and listed several programmes currently being implemented with Microsoft and Sisco Corporation in Anambra State.
The Governor, also commended Ndukwe for coming home to impart knowledge from his very credible experience and international repute and as one of the international personalities produced by the state and given to the world. He told his guests that Engr. Ndukwe is one of those shining examples in public service that has made the state proud.
The Head of Service of Anambra State, Mrs. Ngozi Melifonwu whose office coordinates the lecture series, said the choice of the theme for this 4th Public Service Lecture was based on the fact that ICT is the bedrock of successful economies as recorded by the Asian Tigers.
She said the choice of Engr. Ndukwe for the lecture was in three folds â€œhe can be regarded as a local icon in the field, because he is from Anambra State, he is an eminent national figure in the world of ICT , as his office the Nigerian Communications Commission, is the Federal establishment that controls the communications sector, and he is internationally renowned for the role he has played and the impact he has made through his office in the ICT transformation of Nigeriaâ€ she added.