The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, has called on girls across the country to explore new career opportunities in Information and Communications Technology in order to bridge the gender gap in technology.
Danbatta made the call at the celebration of the Girls in ICT in Abuja on Friday. He was represented at the event by the Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo.
He expressed hope that with the expanding horizon and changing attitudes towards the girl-child in the society, many girls in Nigeria would be able to assert themselves, explore opportunities in ICT and positively impact on their generation as well as the country.
According to Danbatta, although many women have contributed to the economic development of the country, they are still much under-represented in decision processes in many parts of the world.
He said, “To a certain extent, in Nigeria, majority of our women are still limited in various ways and in their ability to contribute to the social and economic development of the nation.
“This limitation varies from denial of access to basic education to health care discrimination and, therefore, we need more women to take up leadership roles in the country and world at large.
“Girls can help close that gap by expanding the horizon and changing their attitudes towards ICT and the possibilities that it offers.
“The ICT is dynamic and driving economies today and creating new employment, which are less strenuous and conducive for the female gender.”
The wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, said her belief in the girl-child and children in general was behind her pet project, the Future-Assured.
According to her, Future-Assured is basically centered on the girl-child education.
Buhari, who was represented at the event by Senator Binta Garba, said, “I am a firm believer in the girl-child. The girl-child is a blessing and not a curse. She is a blessing. She is a goal getter and an achiever.
“Without women, we wouldn’t have got children that will be leaders of tomorrow. The girl-child is something that all of us need to be proud of.
“ICT has given you a goldmine in your hands and it depends on how you make use of this gold in your hands, and we are told that with ICT you can create wealth and you sell and buy and create a programme even without being an engineer.
“Nothing good comes easy as there are challenges. You need to be determined and an initial failure is not the end of the world. In life, nothing good comes easy. You have a talent in you.”
The Country Representative of Microsoft in Nigeria, Mr. Olusola Amusan, said the company had great regards for every young girl whose dream was built around ICT.