The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has labeled internet governance as a strategic motive of economy development.
- The Executive Chairman/CEO of the commission, Prof Umar Danbatta who was ably represented by Ms. Funlola Akiode, Director, Licensing and Authorization (NCC) made this assertion at the 2018 Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum tagged “Internet Governance: Sustaining Development.
He stated that, Internet has continued to grow at an exponential rate, bringing with it new ways of transacting, communicating, learning, socializing, and transforming just about every aspect of our life.
According to him, the benefits of the Internet are not yet evenly distributed.
“Internet remains open for development and innovation.
“Their creativity and innovativeness should not be stifled rather should be encouraged to develop new creative ways to use the Internet.
“Creative inventors of tomorrow’s Google, Skype, Facebook and Twitter are out there somewhere browsing the Internet.
“Internet governance will create a pro-development policy environment and enable the use of the internet as a development engine”, Danbatta noted.
The EVC however mentioned that “A lot has been achieved in African Internet development to date.
“To take the next steps in building a robust internet economy, many issues remain, some of which Africa shares with other developing regions and needs to be tackled.
“Some of such issues are interconnection and cross-border connectivity, economic opportunity, local content, multilingualism and human capacity building.
“Some also have a specifically regional dimension such as digital migration and others are global concerns such as data privacy, cyber security, IPv6 transition, and human rights and freedom of expression,” he said.
Speaking further, Danbatta posited that in Africa, especially Nigeria, in spite of a slow start, internet use was now rapidly accelerating (101.2m subscribers as at April 2018) and its transformative effects were increasingly accessible.
He thereby encouraged all stakeholders in the ICT sector to participate in the digital revolution we are witnessing in the industry, as it is a golden opportunity to advance the use of internet in Nigeria.
He listed some of the initiatives the commission was working on to provide an enabling environment for Internet Governance in telecommunications to include IPv6 Adoption and Transition plan.
He said another initiative was the Internet Code of Practice that sought to promote the safe, secure and responsible use of Internet services with due regard to provisions in existing legal instruments.
“Development of clearer licensing requirements of current and new licenses to include integrated local content initiatives.
“More interaction with industry players on local content policy formation, projects and programmes. We will sustain the dialogue to ensure active participation with all stakeholders.
“Promotion of capacity building in academic institutions to prepare students for core functions in the industry.
“More access to data and statistics for the academia and SMEs for research, development and innovations in local content programmes and projects,’’ he listed as NCC initiatives.
The DigitalSENSE Executive Director, Operations, Mrs Nkem Nweke, said that there was a need to focus attention on the role of internet governance in driving sustainable development in the country.
According to Nweke, continuous enlightenment and capacity enhancement for diverse range of stakeholders, especially women and youths, are key to meeting the needs of a critical segment of the population.
“This forum is our organisation’s way of contributing to empowering an important segment of the population, the students, youths and women in achieving their dreams,’’ she said.