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NIGCOMSAT, PISE-P sign MoU on Community Enterprise Digital Hub Across South-East
Photo: Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Benjamin Kalu

NIGCOMSAT, PISE-P sign MoU on Community Enterprise Digital Hub Across South-East

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Benjamin Kalu on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the management of Nigerian Satellite Communication Limited (NigComSat) on digital skills and innovation.

The agreement signing ceremony in the National Assembly complex, Abuja, aimed to empower thousands of Nigerians across the five South-Eastern states of the federation.

Kalu who signed the agreement on behalf of PISE-P, explained that the initiative was aimed at bridging the digital divide in various constituencies, particularly in remote and underserved areas, focusing on the South-East.

He said: “The South East region, once considered a hub for entrepreneurial activities, is facing numerous socio-economic challenges currently. Rising unemployment, inflation, and security threats have hindered the region’s potential for growth. PISE-P recognizes the urgency to address these challenges, restore peace, and unlock the untapped potential within the region.

“Utilising NIGCOMSAT’s state-of-the-art satellite technology, CEDIH will provide reliable and affordable connectivity, ensuring that residents in the South-East gain access to vital services such as telemedicine, education, and financial solutions. By addressing the digital gap, this project promotes inclusion, reduces disparities, and contributes to enhanced healthcare and overall quality of life for residents in the South East. If this is not renewed hope, I wonder what it is.

“Today, we also have the privilege of unveiling the model of the hub, symbolizing the tangible progress we are making towards a more connected and prosperous South East. This model represents our devotion to creating a future where every individual, regardless of their location, has equal access to information, opportunities, and resources.”

Kalu said that the programme was in line with the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on job creation.

“This event symbolises the beginning of a transformative journey towards digital empowerment and inclusive development in our beloved South East, Nigeria as a whole, and is in line with the renewed hope agenda of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We must be certain about this, that the agenda of the President cannot be carried out by the President alone in isolation of the agencies of government and other arms of government.

“So, this is a true way from the Office of the Deputy Speaker, to assure Mr President that his agenda, his renewed hope agenda, is well in place. And when it comes to the digital economy, we are embracing his vision for the digital economy of this country. And we don’t want to wait for him.

“We want to leverage our relationship with the various government agencies in the country to begin to implement those dreams, those visions so that they can become a mission to impact positively on the lives of Nigerians. So, this is a way of saying we are partnering with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in South East for the digital economy,” he said.

He maintained that “Peace in the South East Project is more than just a Non-Governmental Organization. We are a dedicated organization, driven by the vision of nurturing lasting peace, stability, and sustainable development in South East Nigeria.

“Through innovative and inclusive non-kinetic approaches, we empower our dynamic workforce to drive educational excellence, agricultural innovation, thriving commerce and industry, robust infrastructural development, rich cultural tourism, vibrant sports and entertainment, and effective governance and leadership. These are the pillars of PISE-P. Our vision is to unlock the untapped potential within the region and restore its position as a hub for entrepreneurial activities,” he added.

The Deputy Speaker also commended the Governors in the five states of the South East for working tirelessly to ensure the security and peace of the people in the region.

On her part, Nigcomsat Managing Director, Mrs. Jane Egerton-Idehen who averred that South East region is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, entrepreneurial spirit and immense contributions to the growth of our nation, underscored the need to “harness the potential of this region and create an environment where sustainable peace and development can thrive.

“This initiative will foster harmony and reconciliation amongst the diverse communities, and serve as a catalyst for socio-economic growth, investment opportunities, and improved quality of life for the people,” she noted.

While stressing that the MOU between NIGCOMSAT Limited and PISE-P was aimed at delivering a non-kinetic solution to peace that will ride on digital technology, she pledged NIGCOMSAT’s commitment towards supporting initiatives that promote peace as a non-kinetic tool for the insecurity.

According to her, the pilot project of the MoU is to commence for the five states in the South-East namely: Nimo Town, Njikoka LGA in Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency of Anambra State; Owo community, Nkanu East LGA, Enugu State; Mgbom community at Afikpo in Ebonyi State; Bende community, Bende LGA, Abia State and Umunachi, Isiala, Mbano, Imo State.

She said: “digital transformation indeed, holds significant potential to drive socio-economic development and propel the nation towards a prosperous future as outlined in President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda. The foundation of governance is at the grassroots level; local government secretariats can provide a direct point of contact for citizens and shape the socio-economic landscape of the country.

“Increased investment in connectivity that delivers access to a reliable internet infrastructure at local government areas across Nigeria will ultimately, give the nation the platform to unlock benefits that will empower communities, drive inclusive growth and bridge the digital divide.

According to her, some of the accrued benefits of the initiative include Enhanced Access to Information and Services. With online government portals for digitalised service delivery platforms, there will be improved connectivity which will enable residents to access vital resources, apply for approvals and permits, and engage with local authorities more efficiently.

“Empowerment of Local Entrepreneurs and Business: By acting as economic information hubs that can provide access to online markets and research for small and medium enterprises, local businesses can expand their reach, attract new customers and stimulate local economic activity.

“Fostering of Digital Skills and Innovation: With access to online educational resources, training programs and digital literacy initiatives, local residents can acquire the skills needed to thrive in the digital economy.

“Promotion of Inclusive Development: Access to efficient internet infrastructure will enable unserved and underserved groups, including women, youth and rural populations, to engage in the digital economy, access educational opportunities and contribute to civic life.“

 

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