Deficit of close network in rural areas, the CITAD urges FG

the The Center for Information Technology and Development has called on the Federal Government to create a National Policy for Community Networks in Nigeria that will address the communication network deficits in rural areas.

CITAD Executive Director Yinusa Yau made the call during a press conference Thursday in Abuja.

He highlighted the need to unlock the potential of community networks to bridge connection gaps.

He said that CITAD recognizes the various efforts that the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy has made to reposition the country for digital transformation.

However, he said that due to the digital deficit in the country, the right objectives of these policies and programs would be difficult to achieve.

Yau said, “The initiatives have not fundamentally addressed the issues of closing connectivity gaps in the country’s more than 114 underserved and unserved communities.

“It is instructive that the number of unserved and underserved communities is the result of the painstaking work of another government agency, the Universal Service Provision Fund.

“Community networks remain the tool to unleash the creativity of citizens, mobilizing their resources, skills and other endowments to meet their collective digital communication challenge on their own without asking the government to fund such transition efforts or without waiting. MNOs who are hesitant to do so because what remains are unprofitable leftovers.

“It is in this context and in line with the voice of the assembly of stakeholders, that we would like to renew our call on the government to urgently provide the country with a national policy on community networks. ”

He said large numbers of people in rural areas will be left behind in the federal government’s drive for a digital economy and broadband penetration if a national policy for community networks is not created.

He therefore called on the ministry and its agencies to create a national policy that would benefit people in rural areas.

“In particular, we would like to call on the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy to set up a mechanism for developing a national community network policy,” Yau said.

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