The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has expressed the need to expose girls and young women to more opportunities in ICT as well as address their cyber security concerns.
The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Commission, Professor, Umar Graba Danbatta, made the disclosure at a sensitization campaign held at Government Girls’ Science School (GSS), Kuje and Nobel Hall Leadership Academy, Abuja as part of celebration to mark the 10th anniversary of Girls in ICT Day 2021.
Prof Danbatta was represented by the Head Internet Governance, Tokunbo Oyeleye.
He added that the theme of this year’s edition of the programme, “Connected Girls, Creating Brighter Futures’’ aptly underscores the growing importance of the need for an environment that encourages young women to acquire requisite digital skills to attain their future aspirations.
The Executive Vice Chairman also reaffirmed its commitment to the promotion and empowerment of young women and girls in the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the country.
“The annual event is an initiative of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), designed to raise global awareness on empowering and encouraging young women and girls to consider studies and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The Commission aligns with the ITU’s Resolution 70, which advocates gender mainstreaming and promotion of gender equality, empowerment of women through Information and Communication Technology (ICT).”
He said the Commission has consistently used the platform to encourage Nigerian girls to venture into ICT careers.
“Hence, we sensitize students in secondary schools on how the NCC, as the telecom sector regulator, is creating a safer space for girls, by raising awareness on digital skills, gender-based violence as well as developing initiatives for the protection of children and girls’ rights online.The Commission through various forms of support and participation in activities that educate children on ways to keep safe online has been advancing the objective to promote and safeguard national interests, safety and security.”
Danbatta stated further that the annual event also resonates with the Child Online Protection (COP) drive of the Commission aimed at collectively creating measures for a safer online environment for children.
Senior Manager at NCC, Yisa Elizabeth, who led the Commission’s team to GSS, Kuje, encouraged the young girls to take advantage of the numerous opportunities in ICT for their personal and career development.
Other locations where the Commission carried out the sensitization include Girls’ Academy Senior Secondary School, Lagos Island and Girls’ Senior Secondary Grammar School, Obalende Keffi, Lagos State Model Girls’ Secondary School, Rumueme and Government Girls’ Secondary School Rumuokwuta, Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Kano Capital Secondary School (Girls’ section), Matan Fada Road, Nassarawa and Mairo Tijjani Girls’ Science and Technical College, Kano State.
The participants commended the NCC for the elaborate enlightenment programme, which they said was very beneficial as it has stimulated their interest and dispelled the negative gender perceptions often associated with ICT.
NCC held similar events, in its zonal offices, across the country in furtherance of its commitment to promote the empowerment of young women through ICT.