Every community, town, village or country faces one challenge or the other. It is a reality we cannot completely ignore. Some challenges exceed others on a higher level and finding solutions to these problems is usually never negotiable.
Plateau state is no exception to such controversies. It is the twelfth-largest state in Nigeria and having a population of about 3.5 million people. Despite its growth in population, its resources to meeting the needs of its citizens are very limited.
Technology on the other hand has revolutionized our world. It has created amazing tools and resources for putting useful information at our fingertips.
Although one can never tell promptly as to whether technology could solve all of our problems here on the Plateau, it is safe to say that it would help with worthy shortcuts.
Plateau state still struggles with having a major identity due to its differences between several ethnic groups residing in the state over superiority. One way this problem could be solved is through government validly registering and actively identifying its citizens through the establishment of a Wide-Computerized system and provision of digital IDs. The lack of personal official Identification (ID) prevents people in the state from fully exercising their rights and isolates them socially and economically- voting, legal action, receipt of government benefits and more.
Digital IDs could offer a transformative solution to problems of crimes, population, insecurity and more in the state.
In the year 2020 statistics showed that the unemployment rate of citizens in the state was about 26.59%. But despite this figure a lot if people still seem to lose their jobs especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of undergraduates residing in the state are still very much unemployed. The adaption of digital technology could build investments and regulations for employment. The growth of new businesses can be encouraged through this means if the state were to invest in more real estates and tech companies.
The establishment of high productive companies will be able to offer and create more jobs for skilled workers that can empower themselves and make higher wages.
There is a wide variety of existing issues concerning our educational system. The standard of education has really dropped. It is no doubt that is has become constantly unstable over the years especially with the involvement of the COVID-19 pandemic. Poor infrastructures and lack of technology is also a major challenge facing our public schools based on perspective.
Building and maintaining a school’s district technology infrastructure will help in supporting and enhancing education. By intertwining technology and learning, there could be advancement in the buildup of the educational foundation in the state.
Already, innovators have started implementing methods that increase the flexibility in learning through technology. For instance, uLessons, an organization that provides leverage to class teachers, media and technology solutions to create high quality, affordable and accessible education to citizens in the country and Africa at large.
Our town and state has been on the frontline of crime and terrorism, making it vulnerable. The issue of insecurity is becoming highly alarming, many live and properties have been lost. With the involvement of technology in tackling this problem, data-driven and problem-oriented approaches could be used.
Crimes could be detected before they happen with highly sophisticated detection systems and a strong defensive architecture could also be built. Agile security measures should be involved to ensure the fairness and transparency of these technologies. Among the ways technology can help prevent terrorism, our government could implement the use of ‘smart ID cards, ‘Biometric identifiers’ and state border security. It might take a while to place this all out at once but making an effort will create a system wide improvement for the state and protect the citizens against future terrorist attacks.
A large number of the population in the state live below two US dollars daily (about 800 naira). The population growth rate is higher than the economic growth rate of the state leading to the daily rise in poverty. The involvement of technology in this matter could radically change the lives of citizens by empowering and equipping them. It could provide access to clean drinking water to areas with poor facilities.
Farming techniques could be improved as majority of citizens on the Plateau depend on agriculture as their main source of livelihood. Better plowing techniques and provision of free improved agricultural materials for farming can reduce hunger in a lot of homes. Also the provision of sustainable energy through simple technological advances could enable the poor access resources that can save money and time.
These examples illustrate how technology could most likely help in procuring solutions to the many problems we face in Plateau state and improve the circumstances of livelihood. But unless the basic infrastructure for growth and improvement are put in place, not much can be done. If we are able to develop our technology with prudence, we will likely get far.