Nigeria has taken Significant Steps Toward a Digital Economy – National Communications Commission (NCC) boss.

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Nigeria has made some significant success in the drive towards enthroning national digital economy for the country.

This was disclosed by Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in his keynote address at the 2022 Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum series on ‘5G: Enthroning Internet Governance for Digital Economy’ held at Welcome Centre Hotels, International Airport Road, Lagos and powered by DigitalSENSE Africa, a project of ITREALMS Media group at the weekend.

The Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum 2022 on Internet Governance for Development was put together by DigitalSENSE Africa, a project of ITREALMS Media group; made up of internationally reputed and award-winning Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry analysts and perception managers; professionally affiliated to African Regional At-Large Organisation (AFRALO) for shaping the future of the Internet. DigitalSENSE Africa is a certified At-Large Structure (ALS) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Buttressing his position, EVC who was represented by a Deputy Director and Head of Spectrum Database Management at NCC, Engr. Abraham Oshadami, while dwelling specifically on “5G: Enthronement in Nigeria’s Telecom Sector” outlined some 11-points to drive home his assertion.

Some of these steps, he said include the creation of a full-fledged department of Digital Economy in NCC with a mandate amongst others to ensure that the programs and targets set in the NNBP 2020-2025 and NDEPS 2020 – 2030 are rigorously pursued, tracked, and attained; INFRACO Companies have been licensed to deploy fibre on an Open Access Basis in Six Geopolitical Zones of the country and Lagos State. Approval to commence rollout was given in April, 2021.

According to him, they have developed and secured the Federal Executive Council approval on Nigerian 5G Policy to guide deployments of 5G services nationwide, while acknowledging efforts of the Honourable Minister of Communication & Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.

In addition, he said, NCC has successfully licensed 2 lots of 100 MHz bandwidth in the 3.5 GHz Spectrum band for 5G deployment in December 2021, just as they set up and expanded the Internet Exchange Point capacity of 930 MB/s for Abuja to Lagos Route, 620 MB/s for Abuja to Kano Route, 310 MB/s for Lagos to Port Harcourt route, bolstering landed total offshore broadband capacity of 50.74 TB comprising 40TB Submarine and 10.74 TB of Satellite and the figures are already set for increase.

Equally, he said, followed up on the global industry trends on the 5G Spectrums such as the 26 GHz, 38 GHz and 42 GHz bands harmonized in World Radio Conference 2019 (WRC-19), NCC has updated the National Frequency Allocation Table (NFAT) to reflect the outcome of the WRC-19 through opening up the 60 GHz V-band; Opened up the 70/80GHz E-band for both point-to-point and point-to-multi-points deployments; and developed and published the Spectrum Trading Guidelines amongst other benefits.

These, he said, are evident in the efforts of the commission being demonstrated in the smooth update of previous technologies such as 2G, 3G and the 4G; and the one that is now being implemented to ensure the deployment and adoption of 5G infrastructure and services in Nigeria.

Equally speaking, the Director-General (DG), National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mallam Balarabe Musa said that in the past few days, digital technology usage around the world have improved including raising the bar on credibility of election results across the continent.

Mallam Balarabe, who was represented by a delegation led by the Lagos Zonal Director, Dr. Chibuike Ogwumike, charged stakeholders including various regulatory organs, industries, network operators, service-technology providers, public and private partnership organisations to synergise and be in continued dialogue to address the challenges that may face the widespread 5G deployment worldwide.

Other activities at the twin-event was the unveiling of a book authored by the multi-award winning journalist and Group Executive Editor, Remmy Nweke which was reviewed by Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) Engr. Gbenga Adebayo and President, African Health Journalists Association & Principal Consultant/CEO InterPares Media Limited Dr. Declan Okpalaeke, whereas the Chief Unveiler was the Chief Executive Officer, Amano Investments West Africa and President, Mandilas International Trade Centre, Chief Anthony Amechi Okeke.

Earlier In his welcome address, Lead Consulting Strategist, DigitalSENSE Africa/Group Executive Editor ITREALMS Media Group/Author-Sagacity of a digital revolution, Remmy Nweke said the book is based on well-researched analytics on several subjects such as diversification of Nigeria economy, role of ICTs in curtailing child malnutrition among others.

The event was chaired by the President/CEO Medallion Data Centre Ltd who doubles as President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) Engr. Ikechukwu Nnamani, who was represented by Mr. Olatunji Sulaimon, the Permanent Secretary; Ministry of Police Affairs Temitope Fashedemi was also represented by Mr. Adegbola Toluwalope, Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) Lagos, Mr. Adeleye Ajayi as well as a President, Association of Anambra State Development Unions (AASDU Lagos), Chief Sir Amechi Ebeledike, Catholic Women Organisation (CWO) St. Jude Parish second vice president, Mrs Charity Akobundu, the CMO counterpart led by Secretary Kingsley Agba, chairman, Awba-Ofemili Development Union Lagos, Mr. Norbet Nweke, Chief Benard Chidebe, Chief Theo Okoye of Coswekkers Motors, CEO Tokas Motors, Prince Toike Obidigwe, Mr. Stanley Afunuro, Vice Chairman, ADU Lagos, Mr. Osita Anidebe, Mr. Cele N. Dom, Mr. Onyeka Victor Nweke, Doyen of St. Jude, Mazi Udo Chijioke, President, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) was represented by a team led by Segun Akinwunmi among others.

Other dignitaries include a delegation from the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) Maureen Chigbo, and the Secretary, Mr. Collins Edumaruse, former Managing Director, Champion Newspapers, Mr. Ugo Onuoha, Chief Chris Uwaje, the Oracle; Executive of Nigeria Guild of Editor, Gabriel Akinedewo and publisher of Freedom Online, delegate from Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) led by Messrs Chike Onwuegbuchi and Chidiebere Nwankwo as secretary.