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Access to ICT a right – Minister


ABUJA – The Minister of Communications and Technology, Dr Omobola Johnson, said access to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) was a right and not a privilege.
Johnson made the remark at the Industry Forum to unveil the Universal Service Provision Fund’s (USPF) website and Inauguration of Clusters of ICT Gap in Lagos.
This is contained in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) by Mrs Efem Nkanga, the Special Assistant on Media to the minister in Abuja on Friday.
“The USPF has continued to play a leading role in promoting and deepening ICT access and availability in the rural areas of the country.
“The mandate of the fund is the backdrop against which it developed Symmetric Multi-Processes 2013-2017 to guide execution of sustainable ICT projects which will improve the quality of lives of Nigerians.
“In the USPF, the mantra is that access to ICT is not a privilege, but a right. We will continue to push forward frontiers of service until ICT for all is achieved’’, the statement said.
“There is need to get a clear view of the true access gap within the country so that interventions would be targeted at the appropriate communities’’, It quoted the minister, who is also Chairperson of the fund, as saying.
According to the statement, the access gap study was conceptualised and had culminated in the identification of over 200 subsidy clusters across the six geo political zones.
This, it added, represents the areas where telecommunication services were yet to reach.
“The USPF will utilise these clusters to identify target areas, define Universal Access Service (UAS) interventions and map the interventions to the appropriate communities.
“We will also share the results of the study with the telecoms operators to enable them to get a detailed view of the needs and demands of the market.
“We will also assist them in developing roll out plans for these unreached areas.’’
It added that the greatest wish was to continue to collaborate with the telecom operators to closing access gap in the country and set Nigeria on the path to full digitalisation. (NAN)

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