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Minister urges migration from internet to IPv6 for digital economy

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Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami. Photo: TWITTER/FMOCDENIGERIA


The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, has called for migration from the use of Internet Protocol version four (IPv4) address system to Internet Protocol version six (IPv6) in Nigeria.

Pantami said IPv6 would be crucial to enthroning a digital economy, which Nigeria is pursuing.

The minister, who spoke as a special guest of honour at the weekend, at a webinar on the state of IPv6 deployment in Nigeria, organised by the IPv6 Council Nigeria, in collaboration with the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), said there was urgent need for migration from IPv4 to IPv6.

He said that IPv4 was fast depleting in numbers, while the population of Internet users in Nigeria was on the rise. Pantami, who was represented by the Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone, Prof. Muhammed Bello Abubakar, said the conference on IPv6 came at a right time when the Federal Government was focusing on economic diversification to drive the country’s national digital economy policy for a digital Nigeria and the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020-2025).

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“IPv6 is an important ingredient of our National Digital Economy Policy and the Nigerian National Broadband Plan. The current Internet Protocol that Nigeria has, which is driving the use of Internet, is the IPv4, which has a combined capacity of about four billion addresses, and it is already reaching its capacity limit, which calls for the need to migrate to IPv6, with larger capacities,” Pantami said.

Besides, one of the keynote speakers, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), MainOne Broadband Company, Funke Opeke, said Nigeria’s presence on the Internet had been low even in the days of IPv4, saying that it calls for growth and increased access to the Internet, being a critical foundation of Nigeria’s broadband plan.

“One of the key ways to achieve Nigeria’s broadband target is to leverage IPv6. It is not possible to connect Nigeria’s large population of over 206 million people without IPv6 adoption. With IPv6, we can connect people, networks and devices,” Opeke said.

President of ATCON, Ikechukwu Nnamani, in his welcome speech, said with the projection that by 2030, more than 125 billion devices would be connected using Internet of Things (IoTs), which would put about 15 connected devices into the hands of each consumer, all the devices would therefore need a unique IP address to function efficiently.

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