Stakeholders’ co-operation is critical to powering the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) in Nigeria, Nigerian telecom regulator and Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has submitted.
Danbatta, while speaking at the Virtual 3rd Discourse Series of the Advocaat Law Practice, noted that “the three previous industrial revolutions … have liberated mankind from animal production, made mass production possible, and brought about digital capabilities to billions of people. The fourth industrial revolution brings with it the potential to connect billions of people to digital networks ad dramatically improve the efficiency of organisations.”
Then specifically stressed: “Putting this within the Nigerian context, the challenge before us today is clear. It is one we must approach with the strongest resolve, and with the full co-operation of all critical Stakeholders in order to ensure that “no one is left behind” in the evolving digital future.”
The telecom regulator was emphatic, Nigeria cannot afford to stand aloof Nigeria and the reest of the continnet must invest and take decisive steps towards ebcoming active players in tyhe 4IR.
“I tried to capture this challenge at an earlier forum in the following words: we “must take drastic and deliberate measures by reawakening our consciousness to the power of technology in this 4th Industrial Revolution, where technologically advanced nations are the ones dictating the pace of the global economy. The ongoing trade war between China and the United States is a testament to this reality. As African nations, we must strive to reposition our various economies for digital prosperity and abundance to drive efficiency, productivity and create jobs for the tsunami of our youth population to deploy their creative energy for African economic development.”
But he assured that the NCC like many others agencies of government were already at the forefront of pursuing a national digital economy agenda that addresses the need to be actively part of the 4IR. His words:
“Policy and Regulatory Considerations
“As you would note from the above context, we can only harness the opportunities of the 4th Industrial Revolution as a nation if we put in place effective guiding frameworks, to address the various aspects of the digital ecosystem and ensure their effective interworking in the national interest.
“In this regard, I am pleased to note that Nigeria is not lacking in key Policy and Regulatory frameworks and instruments which will enable us to play a leading role in powering the 4th Industrial Revolution.
“As an example, The National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy Policy (2020-2030) boasts of eight (8) pillars designed to, amongst others
“1. Enable Nigeria become a leading player in the global digital economy;
“2. Provide a catalyst to facilitate the diversification of the economy; and
“3. Accelerate the attainment of the key national objectives of improving security, reducing corruption and expanding the economy.”
“Similarly, the Nigerian National Broadband Policy (2020-2024) clearly highlights the various implementation strategies that would aid the pervasive inclusion and rollout of broadband services across the country whilst also developing a robust and holistic digital economy.
“The NCC’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP 2020-2024 or “ASPIRE 2024″) consolidated on the vision we earlier articulated in the Strategic Vision Plan and 8-Point Agenda. We have responded to the policy goals highlighted above to harness the immense socio-economic benefits of ICT for national development; to ensure that ICT infrastructure are up to the standard necessary to provide ubiquitous broadband services in Nigeria; and to align the Commission’s regulatory efforts with the aforementioned Policy Instruments, as well as the growth strategies of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to ensure Growth, Inclusiveness, and Sustainability.”
The NCC’s executive vice chairman was represented at the event by the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Barrister Adeleke Adewolu.