By Tina Akannam
The Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) has so far released about N30billion for the executions ofÂ variety of programmes through Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF)Â in the Six geo-political areas of the country.
The executive director/ Secretary of the USPF, Mr Funso Fayomi disclosed in Kano recently at the North West stakeholders forum organized by the NCC in collaboration with USPF, said already over 550 secondary schools under the schools access programme and 133 tertiary institutions under the tertiary institution access programmes across the nation have been provided with computers and necessary ICT facilities.
According to him, under the 5years strategic programme ofÂ the USPF, over 70 percent of Nigeria communities in the rural areas where the provision of network services are either unserved or underserved will be provided with community communication centres (CCC).
Said he â€˜Each of the community communication centre will provide a public calling centre, a cybercafÃ© and ICT training centre as well as serve as flat form of extending wireless internet access to the neighboring communitiesâ€™.
He further stressed that the CCC will enable the private operator/ implementing counter part to install and run a wireless broadband internet point, adding that services will enable access to the internet for individuals, businesses, government offices and other community based organizations.
Enumerating other achievements of USPF, the executive director/ secretary of USPF said the USPF is ready to provide funds to assist schools and unserved and underserved communities nationwide, but quickly added that various state government should provided necessary facilityÂ and security for selected schools in the targeted areas.
Said he â€˜We cannot deny any community or school ICT facilities because they donâ€™t have classrooms or electricity, which is why we take time to meet with state government and appeal to them to provided any such select areas with necessary basic infrastructuresâ€.
On how the projects are being implemented, Mr Fayomi said the USPF donâ€™t implement or won any projects, adding that they only provided the fund and ensure that the contractor handling the projects are properly mobilized to execute the projects in the selected areas.
In his keynote address, the acting executive vice chairman of Nigerian communication commission (NCC), Engr. Stephen Adebayo Bello one of the basic objective of the USPF is to contribute to national economic and social development through enhancing ICT infrastructures and services.
Engineer Bello explained that the USPF strategic plans cannot be actualized without the participation of the beneficiaries of the projects in terms of design and deployment, and charged CBOâ€™s in various regions in the country to take up the challenges for the development of their respective locations by becoming aware and get more involved.
Earlier, the representatives of both Kano and Kaduna state governments at the stakeholders meeting thanked the organizers of the forum for working towards ensuring the communities who have no access to ICT facilities are connected to the system.
They both task participants to take advantage of the forum and get necessary information from the USPF and NCC representatives at the forum.