ICT Clinic (Punch Newspaper)

Technology and national development [ICT Clinic]

Punch ICT Clinic - Technology and National Development

Once upon a time, you had to literally queue for years to be assigned a phone line and the number of years you had to wait would not in anyway influence the allocation of a line to you.

Today, all that has changed because a visionary government made a wise decision and opened the sector. Billions of dollars of investment power the industry and today all that is history.

In 2002, a GSM SIM card was sold for about N22,000. Who would have thought that a SIM could go for as low as N100, or even free today? A lot has indeed changed since then and a lot can still happen with the right policies. Technology is disrupting and rewriting the norms various industries have been used to. While I have no issues with the current administration focusing on agriculture, may I once again call for equal attention towards technology because the reality is this – how else can we effectively fight corruption in Nigeria or in what ways would you ensure that the Intellectual Properties of the technological solutions we are implementing in both private and public institutions are owned by Nigerians? Technology is it!

Take a look at the countries that have high Gross Domestic Products today, they are all also strong when it comes to technology. If for nothing, they are ensuring that the software and solutions that power their critical national infrastructure are locally designed and built. It may be difficult to separate Information technology from the growth and development of nations. The nation has needs and these technologies meet those needs. How are these ICT dynamics poised to facilitate national development? Some of them are expressed below:


A few weeks ago, a journalist friend of mine was kidnapped in the once secure city of Abuja while entering his church. As soon as he came down from his car, four men with guns bundled him in his own car and drove off. According to him, ‘as the kidnappers approached a check point and one of them asked ‘no be eke be that’ (is that not the police)? The other responded and said, ‘forget them nothing go happen’. As they predicted, they found a way to pass through the check point and off they went with my friend.

Thankfully, he is alive but his family had to pay a ransom. This got me wondering, “how would a nation develop, if its own federal capital has become a den of kidnappers and robbers?” I remember that once upon a time, a contract worth millions of dollars was awarded to a Chinese company to install CCTV across Abuja and Lagos. What exactly happened to that project? This is a question that must be answered.

With the advent of technology, security is being improved in countries across the world. Deploying the knowledge of electronics in intelligence gathering has thrown up sophisticated gadgets and equipment like, drones, GPS trackers, electric burglaries, automated license plate recognition and many other equipment, all to better secure a nation or city. I chose to start with security because without it, development in its real sense will remain far from us.


I am of the opinion that our education system today will never catch up with our current population growth, so one of the ways to ensure that this changes is to invest heavily in technology. Think about the millions of out-of-school children; when — Finish Reading on the Punch