LCCI, NCC chart path to harnessing digital revolution
For active involvement and benefits from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Babatunde Ruwase, has said Nigeria must narrow the gap between technological potential and the required policy framework.
According to him, there is a need for the country to address necessary policy challenges in three key areas, which are e-commerce, data flows, and new technologies.
Ruwase said this at the fourth edition of the 2019 Information Communications Technology and Telecommunications EXPO (ICTEL EXPO), themed, “Fourth Industrial Revolution: The Nigerian Story”.
Urging key stakeholders to collaborate and focus on exploring innovative approaches to enjoy the technological revolution, he said Nigeria must design and implement an agenda that promotes digital transformation, with modern regulations, infrastructure and digital education.
This, he said, has the potential to fundamentally redefine the economy and provide the required opportunities for the present generation and future generations. “To catch up with the fast phase, the country needs to address necessary policy challenges in e-commerce, data flow and technologies. We should also develop digital skills for the Nigeria youths, so they can respond to the challenges in the labour market, education and other spheres of life,” he added.He said LCCI understands the 4IR, and has sought to promote this great agenda by ensuring that the trade and commerce space of the Nigerian economy is fully integrated.
To be in sync with the technology revolution, Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the Commission is collaborating for telecoms to thrive beyond its current over $70 billion investment profile. This, according to him, is because the new technologies have the capacity to enhance or alter every facet of life, not just the workforce.
”The Fourth Industrial Revolution heralds a series of social, political, cultural, and economic transformation that will unfold over the 21st Century. These technologies have the potential to connect everything into one giant communicating network,” he added. Danbatta, however, said the speed of the 4IR will be guided by the choices that people make today, and that the world in 50 to 100 years from now will owe a lot to how we think, invest in, and deploy these powerful new technologies.
Further, he stated that services and technologies that characterise the 4IR will ride on robust telecommunication infrastructure and pervasive broadband networks.
“The Commission is also ensuring that there is efficient allocation of spectrum resources through re-planning and opening up of some spectrum bands as well as development of framework for the utilisation of unused broadcast spectrum known as television white space (TVWS) for the provision of affordable broadband services in the rural, underserved and unserved areas of the country,” the EVC said.
He lauded efforts of the LCCI in contributing to the new development in the current digital era.
Danbatta added that recent development in the industry has made the Commission reviewing the existing National Numbering Plan (NNP) for proper identification of devices and key services. He said: “The development of the new NNP will provide numbers that satisfies the needs of projected 500 million Nigerians to be connected and about 1 billion globally-interconnected machines and devices by 2050. It will also encourage growth of the telecommunications sector, increase job creation and contribute to National Gross Domestic Product (GDP), among others.”
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Bitrus Nabasu, said diversifying the economy through a revolutionary approach in businesses will save Nigeria economy from a relapse or recession.Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Communication, Istifanus Musa, called for continual investment in ICT in Nigeria as there can’t be meaningful development without ICT and infrastructure. Musa, who was represented by the Director of ICT in the Ministry, Moni Udoh, said Nigerians should share their stories as they create and adopt new technologies to solve complex problems.