By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
The Lawmaker representing Etinan Federal consituency at the National Assembly, Mr. Onofiok Luke has advised that the next level of human training in Akwa Ibom should focus on training of youths on Information Communication Technology and other technical skills.
Luke spoke while presenting a Keynote address during the week in Uyo at a one-year anniversary of ‘Future Labs’, a digital business hub in Ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom state, tagged, “The Role of Policy in National Development Start-ups as A Case Study”
He explained that it became important to train the youths on ICT so that they would key into the industrial revolution initiated by the current administration when it would reach its peak in the next administration.
He stressed the need to bridge the digital divide where rural areas experience lower speed internet connection more than urban areas by ensuring increased broadband infrastructure in underserved areas while also partnering with Tech hubs to improve digital literacy among residents of those areas.
His words: “We need to decentralize development to expand development, because, there is a yawning gap between infrastructural growth and human capacity development.
“We must acknowledge the existence of a big digital divide between the urban/sub-urban areas with high incomes and the our rural areas with low incomes. This digital divide includes connectivity gap where rural users experience lower speed internet connection more than the urban users.
“Any policy formulated should be based on data to know what should be put in place. The government should partner with ICT-based companies to do the necessary groundwork that would make data communication faster and cheaper even in the rural areas.
“We now have a smart building in the state, and we must have a smart government to have a smart future. Digital literacy will help us in the maintenance and long-term substance of our proposed infrastructure”
Luke who is a gubernatorial aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expressed regret that the early utilization of digital approaches to business management that would have transformed Nigeria’s economy was killed by politics.
He congratulated the Chief Executive Officer of ‘Future Lab’, for bringing the project to Ikot Ekpene town, stressing that it would make the residents have a feel of digital revolution.