DigitalSense Forum: We ‘ll Continue To Promote Digital Economy-Communication Ministry

The Ministry of Communication has reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to continue to promote a digital economy given the benefits to the country and Nigerians as a whole.

Speaking at the 2019 DIgitalSense Forum in Lagos, the Permanent Secretary, represented by Engr. Olufemi Olufeko said: “As we all know, the Internet and other technological advancement are currently modifying the way people all over the world live, which in turn contributes to the world economy changing at an unprecedented pace. This change is being used by countries to drive rapid economic development.”

“ The success of the internet depends on reliable, efficient and cost effective interconnections among networks. There are over 111 million Internet users in

Nigeria,  making the country one with the highest numbers of internet users in Africa. It is also important to note that this sporadic increase is in line with the objectives of the Economic Recovery Growth Plan-EGRP which is to promote a   digital-led economy.”

Speech Of The Permanent Secretary, Ministry Of Communications, Represented By Engr. Olufemi Olufeko

Protocols

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to 2019 Nigeria DigitalSENSE forum on Internet Governance for Development |G4d and Nigeria Ipv6 roundtable.

2. As we all know, the Internet and other technological advancement are currently modifying the way people all over the world live, which in turn contributes to the world economy changing at an unprecedented pace. This change is being used by countries to drive rapid economic development.

3. The success of the internet depends on reliable, efficient and cost effective interconnections among networks. There are over 111 million Internet users in

Nigeria,  making the country one with the highest numbers of internet users in Africa. It is also important to note that this sporadic increase is in line with the objectives of the Economic Recovery Growth Plan-EGRP which is to promote a   digital-led economy.

4. The topic ”Policy Framework for Connecting Nigerians for improved Internet Governance” is germane. Access to ICTs enable and accelerate development in key areas of life therefore Internet should be for everyone, everywhere. This is evident in the recent adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on this vision. Therefore there is need for an ideal policy framework which Provides for an enabling rather than a restrictive environment to foster dynamic, efficient and flexible interconnection to networks. The framework should encompass three broad areas expansion of Infrastructure, Skills Development & Entrepreneurship, and open up governance structures around the Internet to a multi-stakeholder approach (Public, Private, and  Citizenry).

5.1 Policy principles focus on expansion in both access (network) infrastructure and content infrastructure:

1. Promote Investment in network & content,

2. PromoteTransparent and affordable licensing procedures

3. Fair price on Right of way,

4. Flexible technology (upgrade).

5. Ensure policies are technology neutral, and flexible enougl to encourage new ways of delivering access.

5.2 Policy principles; Skills Development & Entrepreneurship policy should focus on human capacity both to run networks and also develop content and servicato promote a strong local ecosystem of infrastructure, content and services,

1. Introduce IT engineering in school Curriculum.

2. Establish innovation hubs encourage; Facilitate local innovation and entrepreneurship

3.Promote Local content development: hosting /datacenter /developers /IXN.

4. Avoid burdensome taxes on end-user services and devices.

 5. General Internet skills training and Professional training & retraining.

5.3 Supportive Governance policy should focus on improving governance principles and rules that will promote widespread availability and online usage

1. Promote multi-stakeholder approach to policy-making.

2. Support for critical infrastructure improvements, including the adoption of IPv6, the use of DNSSEC

3. Improve the ease and predictability of doing business

4. Government tax policies and import duties that do not unduly depress demand or raise the time and cost of providing infrastructure and content

5. Promoting a collaborative security approach to increase broad trust in the

Internet, along with data protection laws to ensure privacy for sensitive data that underpin new financial, health, and other services using personal data.

6.0 GOVERNMENT EFFORTS/INITIATIVES .

i The country set a 5year National Broadband Plan 2013-2018 with target of a minimum 30% broadband penetration from 500 in 2013, However in December 2018 NCC announced broadband penetration of 31.48%. Currently …

The country set a 5year National Broadband Plan 2013-2018 with target of a minimum 30% broadband penetration from 500 in 2013, However in December 2018 NCC announced broadband penetration of 31.48%. Currently Nigeria’s Broadband penetration is 32.34.

ii NCC recently confirmed that Six more Infrastructure companies have been licensed to drive the development of infrastructure. Across nations geopolitical zones.

iii Globacom commissions the GIo-2 cable system.

iv. Government approves $328 million loan to complete national backbone project

v. Government pledges deploy 18,000km of fibre to extend broadband to rural areas.

vi Two additional satellites proposed to provide additional capacityto NigComSat.

vii. Swift Networks to add an additional 10, 000 hotspots in Lagos, reaching two million people.

viii. Digital broadcasting migration process begins in six states.

ix. Government commits to increasing mobile broadband penetration to 70% by 2021.

x. Regulator calls for an additional 80,000 mobile base stations.

xi. Report update includes the regulator‘s market data to December 2018, operator data to Q3 2018, recent market developments.

xii.  Provision of online portal for stakeholder consultation.

xiii. Development of Infrastructure database to link Regional Internet Registry records.

xiv. Development of Internet Code of Conduct.

xv. Development of National Internet Registry database.

6.0 Conclusion

The internet will only be fully adopted, and its benefits universally shared, when there is compelling local made available locally. Further, there is a clear need to develop human capacity and open up governance structure around the internet to a multi-stakeholder approach.

The Ministry of Communications is focused on lifting the lives of Nigerians through provision of affordable ICT solutions and promulgation of enabling policies to hel ICT industry growth.

This speech is not complete without acknowledging the efforts of the organizers of this annual event for their consistency in organizing internetbased skill acquisition training and workshops targeted at in @ting the younger generation for the path of ICT related career.

Thank you for your attention.