Emerging Technology Forum will explore impacts of ICT on Nigeria – NCC

The Nigerian Communication Commission NCC said the primary objective of the Emerging Technology forum for the Telecommunications Industry was to provide standard roadmaps and best practices which can be used to measure the impact of Information & Communications Technology (ICT) on Nigeria’s society and promote the adoption of new technologies.

The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Nigerian Communication Commission NCC stated this on Thursday in Abuja in a introductory remarks at the Emerging Technology Forum for the telecommunications Industry with the theme ‘Contextualizing the Network Readiness Index (NRI) for the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry”
Prof Umar Danbatta who was represented by the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services,Engr. Ubale A. Maska stated that NCC will review the latest findings of Nigeria’s NRI, explore various barriers and key drivers to the implementation of innovative technologies, and ultimately create actionable solutions to help move the industry forward.
“We live in rapidly changing times where the proliferation of digital transformation and the use of ICTs are inevitable. With the world becoming increasingly interconnected and our economic activities relying heavily on the digital space, it has become essential for countries to be at the forefront in terms of technology adoption. This is why the Network Readiness Index (NRI) is so important to measure the progress of a country as it relates to ICTs and digital transformation.
“Nigeria’s Network Readiness Index is a strong indicator of how the country is adapting to the digital transformation that is happening all over the world, and will help us access our progress and position on the global digital train. This forum seeks to examine the different barriers and key drivers of emerging technologies as far as the Nigerian telecommunications industry is concerned.
“We intend to explore the challenges that are present, and to discuss solutions to ensure that the country is making the most of the digital transformation.In the end, this forum should provide us with valuable focal areas of discourse, with the hope of discovering innovative and effective ways of improving the Network Readiness Index in Nigeria.
“Furthermore, the discussion should be encouraged to discuss how the NRI can be used as a key tool for assessing the development of the telecommunications industry, and how it can be used to inform decision-making relating to technology and network readiness” Ubale said.
In his opening remarks Engr. (Dr) Chidi Diugwu,Head New Media And Information Security Department, said the forum aimed to establish a National Network Readiness Index (NRI) by exploring the driving factors of emerging technologies, further examining the sustainability and barriers of the NRI’s four pillars – Technology, People, Governance, and Impact.
He stated that the NRI, widely used for monitoring access and impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), is an invaluable tool for identifying gaps, stimulating action, structuring policy dialogue, and tracking ICT readiness over time.
“The Tech Industry is a focal point of Nigeria’s growth, demonstrated by the recent investments in infrastructure and digital services. Statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics indicate that Nigeria’s ICT sector contributed up to 14.07% to the total GDP in the first quarter of 2020, and this had grown to 17.47% by Q1 2023.
He commended the Federal Government’s focus on the Tech Industry, particularly on fostering the advancement and growth of technology especially emerging and new technologies.
“This is one of the objectives of the NCC in its strategic pillar: Promotion of DIGITAL ECONOMY and is cascaded to the New Media and Information Security Department as one of its critical mandates
“This goal of enhancing the productivity ecosystem, is expected to result in a significant boost to the nation’s innovative capabilities in the coming years.
“There has been remarkable development in Nigeria’s ICT infrastructure in recent years, with skyrocketing mobile penetration rates, and internet connectivity expanding drastically”He said.
Chidi Diugwu maintained that NCC’s commitment to enhance network infrastructure, coupled with the private sector’s contributions has significantly transformed Nation’s connectivity landscape.
He further said”It is crucial to note that the NRI is not just about the latest technologies or high-speed internet access. It also includes elements such as affordability, digital skills, and the availability and adoption of digital services in various sectors of the economy.
“Nigeria’s performance on the NRI index from 2020 to 2022, as reported by the Potulans Institute, indicates a mixture of improvement and challenges that still persists. Thus, applying the Network Readiness Index in the Telecommunication Industry is of paramount importance in our current digital ecosystem. Utilising the insights it brings allows us to amplify our strengths, address our challenges, and propel our nation into a brighter digital future. However, despite the importance of NRI in channelling the strengths and opportunities of our tech ecosystem, it is imperative that the metrics are localized to reflect our current realities.
He therefore urged players in Telecom industry to embrace the insights offered by the NRI to guide NCC policies, investments, and collaborations to enable them harness the potentials of emerging technologies, investing in human capital, and fostering innovation that will unlock new opportunities, bridge the digital divide, and create a prosperous and inclusive digital future for Nigeria.

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