The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta at the weekend paid an inspection visit to the site of the ongoing construction of Nigeria’s first Digital Industrial Park in Kano state.
During the visit, the EVC, who was accompanied by the NCC’s Head of Projects, Philip Eretan, and the EVC’s Chief of Staff, Malam Hafiz Shehu, among others, was assured by the contractors that the project will be completed by January 2023.
Addressing the contractors, Danbatta said that both the Federal and the State governments are following the progress being made at the construction site with keen interest owing to the value addition the project would make not only to the economy of the North-West geo-political zone but also to the country as a whole.
“This is a project that Nigerians are eagerly waiting to be completed. The Federal Government and the State government are following it with keen interest, and at NCC, our responsibility is to ensure that there’s no further delay in delivery as we have been doing everything possible to ensure that we have the project commissioned in the next few months.
“While I promise you that we will give you all the support you need, I also demand that a progress report be sent to me fortnightly over the two months period in order to ensure effective monitoring by us at NCC,” he said.
Speaking further, the EVC commended the State Governor for proving land at a prime location in Kano for the project, which he said is an indication of the value the government attaches to the project.
The DIPs currently being built across the six geo-political zones of the country by the NCC are expected to provide Innovation Labs and Digital Fabrication Laboratories (Fablabs) for use by digital innovators and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into products and prototypes. The parks are also designed to provide broadband services and to have access to constant power supply.
This is not the first time the NCC boss would pay a visit to the construction site of the project located at Audu Bako Secretariat in the ancient city, which doubles as the commercial nerve centre of northern Nigeria.
The EVC’s latest visit was sequel to a similar visit to the construction site in July 2022 and other visits he had made much earlier, essentially to assess the level of work that has been done so far to ensure that the project is delivered within the set deadline.
During the July 2022 visit to the construction site, Danbatta pointed out that the project was conceived to support the Federal Government’s digital drive by facilitating the availability and accessibility of digital services across the country, and promoting their adoption and usage across all sectors, as well as providing youth employment in the country.
“The idea of putting these two things (i.e., skill acquisition and innovation) at the forefront of this very important initiative is to produce youths that can be self-reliant, generate employment for themselves and other Nigerians,” he said.