Association of Telecommunication Professionals of Nigeria (APTN) has called for awareness on ways to bridge the digital divide in the country and raise consciousness on the benefits of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Mr Adede Williams, the President of APTN, made the call in a statement on Friday in Abuja on the backdrop of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2019, marked annually on May 17.

The theme for this year is “Bridging the Standardisation Gap”.

Williams said that the rationale for the observance of the day was to raise consciousness of the possibilities that the internet and other information and communication technologies could bring to societies and economies.

He added that it was also to explore ways to bridge the digital divide.

He noted that “all the telecommunication and information technology professionals and practitioners in Nigeria join their professional colleagues across the world to celebrate the constant evolution of one of the most important factors of our lives: communication.

“The main goal of the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day (WTISD) is to highlight the importance of communication and how information technology travels across the world.

“It also aims to increase awareness of how crucial communication is in our lives, and stimulate the development of technologies in the world today.”

The APTN president said that the 2019 celebration of the day marked its 50th anniversary, celebrated since 1969.

“Every year on May 17, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) membership around the world celebrates World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

“This is a day to mark the founding of ITU over 152 years ago; which statically was founded on May 17, 1865, and to draw attention to the work of ITU and the challenges of global communications.

“The theme for this year’s World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2019 (WTISD-19) is “Bridging the Standardisation Gap’’ which focuses on the power of digital standard for development.

“The day aims to explore how to turn imperfect, complex, often unstructured data into actionable information in a development context.

“As a matter of fact, we know that setting standards is a fundamental pillar of ITU’s mission as the specialised agency of the United Nations for information and communication technologies.

“ITU standards help to accelerate ICTs for all Sustainable Development Goals, hence, the insight brought on by advanced analysis can strongly complement the evidence-based nature of decision-making.

“That can be leveraged at local, national, regional and international levels to drive the success of standardisation toward attaining the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030.’’

Williams said that the day reminded the world of the vision of the World Summit on the Information Society “to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented information society.”

He added that opportunities would be identified as people learn to better perfect and harness the digital standardisation, and understand the impact of bridging the standardisation gap globally.