Nigeria - Federal Government launches Students’ PC Ownership Scheme’

Computing

The Federal Government last week, demonstrated its commitment to put personal computers (PCs) and laptops in the hands of every Nigerian, when it launched the ‘Students’ PC Ownership Scheme’, in Abuja, writes Emma Okonji

Since the landing of submarine cables at the shores of the country by MainOne, Glo 1 and the MTN West African Cable System (WACS), hopes on broadband revolution were raised, as Nigerians were told of the huge bandwidth capacity that each of the submarine cables bring to Nigeria.

Although Nigerians, including the government were happy for the expected broadband revolution, one thing that continually gave government sleepless nights, was the low PC penetration in the country, which remained a prominent technology tool that will facilitate broadband penetration. It has been argued that without available PCs and laptops in the hands of Nigerians, the campaign for broadband revolution may turn out to be an exercise in futility, since the computer is the tool with which broadband will actually work.

Having identified the importance of computers in today’s world of technology, as well as accepting the obvious fact that Nigeria is ranked lowest in Africa in PC penetration, the Ministry of Communications Technology, in collaboration with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), last week in Abuja, launched the students Personal Computer (PC) ownership scheme, aimed at driving PC penetration in the country.

To give the scheme a local content development drive, the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, had to involve the local Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) like Zinox, Veda, Omatek, Brian and Beta Computers, including the software giant, Microsoft and the financial institution, Skye Bank.

Speaking at the launch of the computer scheme, Johnson said her ministry had two key mandates, the first being to promote the utilisation of Information and Communications Technologies ( ICTs) in all spheres of life, and that education was given priority, while the second being the promotion and the facilitation of the development of the ICT industry.