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Centre for Information Technology CITAD has received a land donation from the Chairman of Itas/Gadau Local Government of Bauchi state, Honorable Abdullahi Muhammad Maigari (Yayan Gida) for building to accommodate structures needed for a proposed community network facility in the community.

This is part of a project the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) with support from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the UK through the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) which aims at enhancing the capacity of communities to design, deploy and manage community networks to meet their communication needs while at the same time engaging regulators and other relevant policy makers to enact policies and provide support that could enhance the flourishing of community networks in the country.

According to the Executive Director of the Centre, Y. Z. Yaú, no doubt, he COVID 19 pandemic and the resultant lock down brought to a sharp relieve the importance of the internet as learning, business and other social interactions shifted online.

That such shift was not possible for many people who have remained excluded from the digital opportunities. In Nigeria such exclusion is large as less than 50% of the population is actually connected.

Yau states that to address this connectivity gaps and bridging the digital divide, the use of community networks telecommunications infrastructure deployed and operated by local groups to meet their own communication needs and also a communications infrastructure, designed and erected to be managed for use by local communities is a strategy to address the issue.

These communication needs can be voice, data, etc. and can be point of convergence for community to come together to address their common community problems.

The project, he said, has pilot sites in seven communities across three states namely Jamaare and Itas in Bauchi State, Kafanchan in Kaduna State and four sites in rural community of Federal Capacity Territory, Abuja (Tungen Ashere, Dakwa Community, Pasepa and Leleyi Gwari.)

Furthermore, CITAD calls on the the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) to fast track its process of policy development for community networks in the country, while it also calls on the Galaxy Backbone which has declared its support and commitment to promoting community networks to demonstrate this support by reaching out to communities that are already working to roll out such in their communities.

Also that the USPF and NITAD to extend their digital inclusion programmes to community networks initiatives so that these efforts could become more sustainable.

It also charge other Political leaders in Itas-Gadau Local Government and in other communities, especially the Members, State House of Assembly and House Representative members to as a matter of their constituents’ interest support efforts to build the community networks in their communities to address the digital marginalization of their people,

Philanthropies and business individuals in the local governments are also encourage to assist in the building of the community network centers while local government chairmen in the country, especially where the intervention is taking place have been asked to emulate the good gesture of Itas-Gadau local government chairman.

And finally, that NCC lead in speeding up the flourishing of community networks in the country by providing free spectrums to rural communities where community networks are being provided.

 

 

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