A group of women in the information technology sector of the economy, under the aegis of Women in Technology in Nigeria (Witin), have decried the negative impact of technology on the Nigerian child.
The group said that as mothers, the hearts of its members are bleeding daily over unusual trends and terrifying stories of how Nigerian youths have become victims of attacks through technological devices.
As a result, the group has concluded plans to organize a forum that will put parents, guardians and others on the alert about technology, its developments and impacts.
This, they said, will help curb the growing negative trends coming from the adoption and use of technology, especially by the children. The international forum, which comes up in Lagos on October 4, would among others expose the risk factors and vulnerabilities connected with children’s use of the Internet.
President of the group, Mrs Martha Alade-Omoekpen, said the world today is shaped by the advancements in the field of ICT, its relevance to the development of individuals, organisations, nations and the entire world cannot be contested but that at the same time children must be guarded against its adverse effects.
Alade-Omoekpen added that ICT has frequently been incontrovertibly acknowledged to be the driving force behind today’s economic growth while playing a key role in the recent extraordinary economic and human development.
According to her, the use of ICT innovations by children in the new world of freedom for empowerment has in different ways influenced and to a certain degree also changed roles and processes within child development. But the point is that ICT has its negative sides.
She said these negative sides would come to fore at the forum, which would have in attendance speakers from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
The conference with the theme: “ICT and Child Development:Benefits and Challenges” would be a forum to discuss topics like the role of mothers in children use of ICT; mobile phones usefulness, risks and myths; bridging the gender digital divide: girls in ICT ( which would be taken by ITU representative) and ICT for improved healthcare of children.
Minister of Communications Technology Mrs Omobola Johnson, and Dr. Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC are expected to attend the event.