We must leverage emerging technologies to solve specific challenges – Danbatta
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has stressed the need to investigate emerging technologies, envisage their potential applications and determine how they can be leveraged to solve the nation’s specific challenges.
Speaking at the Emerging Technology Forum for the telecommunications industry with the theme, “Contextualising the Network Readiness Index (NRI) for the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry” in Abuja, Danbatta noted that the surge in data utilisation, the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT), the advent of artificial intelligence and the emergence of cutting-edge technologies highlight the urgent need for ongoing network surveillance and expansion.
He observed that the Emerging Technology Forum acts as a beacon, directing the country towards the intersection of transformation and advancement, stressing that the forum provides a bridge in the divide between aspiration and achievement through spirited dialogues, collaborative exchanges and the exploration of emerging technologies.
According to him, to navigate the era of transformation, it is important to embrace innovation, make strategic investments and cultivate a growth-friendly ecosystem.
He said: “The global data collected by the NRI team reveals that digital transformation is a global imperative in order to maximise the social and economic effects of the digital era. It can create new inequalities, which can hinder the ability of younger generations to engage in the digital economy, but also remains a powerful way to do more with less at all levels of income.
“Formal education is evolving, and metrics are important to support informed policymaking. This requires reskilling and upskilling opportunities to be available, accessible and affordable in order to have more inclusive and sustainable economies and societies.
“Nigeria is a telecommunications powerhouse, with 82 per cent of the continent’s telecom subscribers and 29 per cent of the continent’s internet consumption. Our nation rates 11th globally in terms of internet penetration and seventh in terms of mobile phone usage.
“Despite these remarkable metrics, the fact that our Network Readiness Index (NRI) ranking for 2022 is 109th out of 131 countries is both humbling and challenging.”
He observed that the telecommunications industry had in recent years embarked on a remarkable growth trajectory, solidifying its position as an engine of economic growth.
He added that the enhancement of digital access and the expansion of networks have left an indelible impact on the lives of the citizens.
Also speaking, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, Ubale Maska, said the forum was to provide standard roadmaps and best practices, which can be used to measure the impact of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) on the society and promote the adoption of new technologies.
He noted that the forum would 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.
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