By Franklyn Nwachukwu
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, has praised the concerted efforts of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and governors from the Southeast region in fostering peace and security initiatives.
Kalu spoke on Thursday during the launch of the Peace In South East Project (PISE-P).
The highlight of the event was the signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT). The partnership aims to establish Community Enterprise Digital Hubs (CEDiH) across the five states of the Southeast region.
Initiated by Deputy Speaker Kalu, PISE-P aims to address long-standing socio-economic challenges in the Southeast through peaceful and non-kinetic means.
In his keynote address, the Speaker said: “The Southeast region, once considered a hub for entrepreneurial activities, is facing numerous socio-economic challenges currently. Rising unemployment, inflation, and security threats have hindered the region’s potential for growth. PISE-P recognises the urgency to address these challenges, restore peace, and unlock the untapped potential within the region.
“Utilising NIGCOMSAT’s state-of-the-art satellite technology, CEDiH will provide reliable and affordable connectivity, ensuring that residents in the Southeast gain access to vital services such as telemedicine, education, and financial solutions.
By addressing the digital gap, this project promotes inclusion, reduces disparities, and contributes to enhanced healthcare and overall quality of life for residents in the Southeast. If this is not renewed hope, I wonder what it is. “Today, we also have the privilege of unveiling the model of the hub, symbolising the tangible progress we are making towards a more connected and prosperous Southeast.
This model represents our devotion to creating a future where every individual, regardless of their location, has equal access to information, opportunities, and resources”.
“Individuals who have played a part in our collective pursuit of progress and development. I want to thank also the members of the House of Representatives who are going to be nominating the locations for the establishment of these particular community enterprise digital hubs. Please, as you do so, do not do it with bias; do it to reflect where the need of our people is the highest. Do your needs assessment”, he added.
The project seeks to bridge the digital divide, particularly in remote and underserved areas.
During the signing ceremony, the Speaker also highlighted the role of technology, stating that the CEDiH would provide vital services such as telemedicine, education, and financial solutions.
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The Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT, Mrs Jane Nkechi Egerton-Idehen, announced that the pilot project would commence in five locations across the Southeast, demonstrating NIGCOMSAT’s commitment to supporting peace initiatives in the region.
Kalu expressed gratitude to all stakeholders involved in advancing the project and urged fairness in nominating locations for the digital hubs, emphasising the need to prioritise areas with the highest need.
The unveiling of the model hub symbolises tangible progress towards a more connected and prosperous Southeast, reflecting a shared vision for inclusive development and peace.