The independent national regulatory authority for the telecommunications industry in Nigeria has called for the responsible usage of technology, especially the Internet in a way that helps to address our socio-economic, cultural and national security challenges.
According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the world is witnessing greater advancement in ICT with next-gen technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, Fifth Generation Network (5G), Internet of Things (IoT), Virtual Realities (VR), Blockchain and Big data, among others.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta however noted that these newest technologies are fast evolving to redefine our sociocultural orientation in the 4th Industrial Revolution of the 21st Century.
Danbatta who was ably represented by NCC’s Deputy Director of Public Affairs, Mrs Grace Ojougboh made this call at the Quarterly Public Lecture of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) held in Abuja themed “Imperial Cultural Illusions, Delusions and Hallucination: Major Sources of Africa’s Contemporary Development Crises”.
In his goodwill message, Danbatta said the world civilisation and culture have been greatly impacted by the advancement in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and telecommunications to the extent that the way we socialize, carry out businesses, engage in learning and participate in other life endeavours have changed in unprecedented ways.
In his words, “Over the years, technology has revolutionised our world and daily lives and created amazing tools and resources, putting useful information at our fingertips.
“With all of these revolutions, technology has made our lives easier, faster, better, and more exciting, but it has wrought a devastating effect on our national and traditional ethos. The emergence of the so-called ‘digital natives or ‘ Millennial’ presupposes a generation that is fast losing touch with our time honours traditional and cultural values which are the very essence of our identity as a people”, he clarified.
Furthermore, Danbatta explained that the convergence of ICT with the attendant pervasive wholesome adoption that straddles virtually all facets of social, economic and cultural life underscore the fact that this is a major source of Africa’s contemporary development crises.
Aside from driving broadband penetration, ubiquitous access to telecoms services and next-gen technologies that impact life, the EVC stressed that NCC has taken upon itself to constantly educate consumers of telecoms services on responsible use of our ICT resources for promoting development and engendering national unity.
According to him, this resonates with the Institute’s primary responsibility of harnessing our cultural resources to meet the challenges of social integration, peace, unity and national development.
“NCC recognizes the power of telecommunications in leapfrogging our national development in these important respects. This is the reason the Commission accords priority to strategic objectives in its regulatory mandate.
“NCC ensures proper registration of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards while also ensuring the ongoing implementation of the Ministerial Directive on the linkage of SIM and National Identity Number (NIN) data to ensure credible citizens’ database.
“This, the Federal Government believes will enhance efforts at curbing criminal activities such as terrorism, banditry, kidnapping while boosting confidence in economic transactions”, he explained.
Speaking further, Danbatta highlighted the positive impact of telecommunications and ICTs across all the key sectors of the Nigerian economy.
According to him, the National Bureau of Statistics revealed the telecoms sectors’ positive contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Quarter 4 of 2020 is one of the reasons Nigeria was able to marginally exit from recession.
He, therefore, advised the need to ensure Nigeria as a country leverage technology functionally to promote our economy and address other critical development challenges.
“It is on this note that I wish to reiterate the commitment of the Board and Management of NCC in ensuring Strategic Collaboration and Partnership with relevant agencies and stakeholders for a sustainable national development that guarantees economic prosperity for all citizens while preserving our fundamental social and cultural values,” he said.