There is a consistent resounding with the target of achieving digital Cross River.
Broadly speaking, a digital society ensures an ICT driven knowledge-based society where information will be readily available online and where all possible tasks of the government, semi-government and private spheres will be processed through modern technology.
So, a digital Cross River must guarantee efficient and effective use of modern ICT in all spheres of the society with a view to establishing good governance.
In other words, in making Cross River a digital one, we have to establish technology driven e-governance, e-commerce, e-production, e-agriculture, e-health etc in the society emphasizing the overall development of the common people.
Building a strong ICT infrastructure is the pre-requisite for achieving the digital Cross River. For this, we need to focus on the following relevant issues assessing the harsh reality that hinders our development in this context.
Latest statistics reveal that Cross River faces a power deficit of up to 20MW against a demand of 21MW as reported by The PUNCH.
But Governor Ben Ayade while inspecting progress of work at the parliamentary power station recently said, “As you can see, there is massive construction work going on here at the site; we are putting the structural base for the installation of the 21MW power turbines that have already been delivered on site.”
Therefore, it is noted that for proper ICT development, uninterrupted power supply is a must. For ICT development, internet users in the state must be increased with corresponding increase in internet penetration.
In this case, our position is the worst among the stated, as with a digital Governor with the dream of a digital Cross River has failed to utilize the social media platforms, which are veritable ICT tools to ensure participatory governance.
It is well established that the Governor of Cross River State doesn’t make effective use of his Facebook, Twitter and other social media handles, whereas, we know of leaders who rule from their Twitter handles, Facebook pages etc.
These works out well for them and that is being “digital.”
Though the opinion of this writer seem to be one borne out of frustration, the digitality of the Governor, the government and Cross River State can easily be achieved within a reasonable span of time if we can establish good governance and tackle the above stated issues effectively and efficiently in transparent manners.
Ikwen Atuaka is CrossRiverWatch Correspondent in Northern Cross River and writes from Obudu.