The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has stressed the need for broadband development to drive 4th Industrial Revolution in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the country.
The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta made this assertion during the 2019, 7th Digital Africa Conference and Exhibition on Tuesday in Abuja.
The theme of the three-day conference is “Africa’s Tech Renaissance: Positioning Africa for the Age of Abundance”.
Danbatta, who was represented by Mrs Iyabo Solanke, Director of Research and Development, said that Africa needed to be part of the 4th Industrial Revolution as she missed out on the previous great leaps in human innovation.
The chairman said that the commission was trying to see how broadband availability and accessibility would be accelerated in Nigeria.
He advised students in the country to be ICT complaint and take the matter of technology seriously as there was a correlation between the levels of technological advancement with economic development.
According to him, it is time for Africa to make the right choices in order to be able to create and enjoy abundance here in Africa and be truly a part of the world.
“We are encouraging the academia to improve what will develop the telecommunications industry in the country.
”We encourage the academia to be research based because they cannot develop without proper research activities.
“In this knowledge based environment that we are, we need students that are ICT complaint. The commission as part of its social responsibility provided some ICT facilities to schools so that they will learn,” he said.
In his remarks, Dr Isa Pantami, Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), called on all the ICT stakeholders to come together, support and deliver the mandate of the Industry.
Pantami said that NITDA had developed a strategic road map with seven pillars namely: cyber regulation, cyber security, capacity building, digital inclusion, digital doc creating,
Local point promotion and development and digital services for working and development accordingly.
He described data as the new oil and encouraged Nigerians to be focused more on data, adding that other countries in this age and time do not talk about mineral resources and natural resources anymore.
The director general said that other countries have moved from natural based resources to digital based economy, adding that a time would come when relying solely on the natural resources would not sustain the economy of the country.
According to him, if data is utilised effectively, it is the new oil. Most people in the world are talking about digitisation and utilising data as the new oil.
“It is no more about natural resources or mineral resources but ICT. Most of the leading companies today in the world are not in any way natural resources company, they are more of data or digital companies.
“We need to think outside the box to see how we can support and develop our local content in the country.
“The earlier we realise this in Nigeria or Africa, the better for us,” Pantami said.
The Chairman, Digital Africa, Dr Evans Woherem, explained that the idea of the conference was to stretch the minds of Nigerians to realise that things could be done a lot better than they were done.
According to Woherem, there are some technologies that are now very topical and are also helping with regards to the digitalisation of countries.
“Those technologies are called exponential technology; they don’t make you go sequential. They do not make you go arithmetically. They make you develop geometrically
“You cannot be doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. The world is shifting and the world is now highly digitised.
“Countries that want to succeed even in the new era that we are moving into are realising that they have to be digitized. There are very many possibilities of what we can do to developing our content”
The yearly digital Africa conference and exhibition is to showcase and sensitise the entire Africa.