The Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Prof. Umar Danbatta has called for the inclusion of girls in the ICT sector.
Danbatta said this was in line with the United Nations’ effort to empower girls in technology and close the digital gender gap.
He said this at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Girls Can Code Competition (NGCC) Award ceremony on Wednesday in Abuja.
Danbatta said that gender inequalities remained deeply entrenched in society, adding that women lack access to decent work and face occupational segregation and gender wage gaps.
Danbatta, represented by the Executive Commissioner of Technical Services, Mr. Ubale Maska, said that empowering women and girls would fuel thriving economies, and spur productivity and growth.
He said: “Every year, young people from around the globe use different kinds of tools to showcase their ICT prowess.
“We believe that critical societal problems can be solved using technologies such as artificial intelligence and internet of things.
“Data analytics application of these emerging technologies in agriculture has the potential to increase both the operational efficiency of farmers and the yield of the land.
“There is also an increased possibility for targeted application of farm inputs and resources thus reducing cost and increasing yields.
“It will provide competitive edge needed by farmers in terms of accurate decision- making, improved productivity, and efficiency.”
Danbatta said that with the advent of the fifth generation (5G) and its ongoing deployment in Nigeria, the opportunities for girls in ICT were endless.
In his own speech, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services Communications, Mr. Ubale Maska said that the competition was meant to specifically empower Nigerian girls and spark their interest in ICT as a career path.
Maska said coaching the girls in the development of codes and applications would go a long way for them in ICT.
He said that the competition addressed the challenge of digital inequality, inequity and the digital gap between men and women in ICT.