Imo State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Engr. Iyke Umeh has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to remove import duties on computers to make its importation less cumbersome.
Engr. Umeh made the request during a press briefing to herald the eighth annual meeting of the National Council on Communication and Digital Economy, holding in Imo State.
The meeting is expected to have in attendance, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy and his team, 36 commissioners for ICT related ministries in the 36 states of Nigeria and all ICT stakeholders.
Engr Umeh said removing such import duty will also guarantee easy access to computers for greater percentage of Nigerians.
He noted that the decision to host the event was borne out of the commitment of Governor Hope Uzodimma to digitize the state’s economy, adding that the event will create an opportunity for the state to showcase its rich potentials for prospective investors in the ICT sector.
“Secondly, ICT, being the driving force of modern economies, this event will provide a veritable platform for the Imo State Government to dialogue with critical stakeholders in the sector, with a view of partnering them in the areas of E-Agriculture and E-governance”, he stated.
Enumarating the achievements of his ministry so far, Umeh said the ministry has established computer centres in all the 27 local government areas, toured the LGAs to make sure all the Information Communication Technology (ICT) centres are functional.
He said the ministry has been going round the local government areas in the state and training youths on ICT, adding that 207 youths graduated in Oru on Thursday, November 26, while 55 persons will graduate in Ideato North on Saturday, November 28.
The Science and Technology Commisioner said two ICT centres; Obowo and Aboh Mbaise were converted to Computer Based Testing (CBT) centres to handle the poor performance of Imo candidates in Computer Based Testing examinations, while work was ongoing in that of Orlu to be converted in the next one month.
He also used the opportunity to lend his voice to the issue of salary payment in the state, saying that the government was taking time to get it right and make it perfect, through the automation process.
Umeh called on civil servants, especially those affected to be patient, as they will be the ones to enjoy the process at the long run, when it is perfected.