Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communication Omissions (NCC),
Professor Umar Garba Danbatta has said that Nigeria is currently the telecommunications powerhouse on the African continent.
He said: “Nigeria is a telecommunications powerhouse, with 82% of the continent’s telecom subscribers and 29% of the continent’s internet consumption.
“Our nation rates eleventh 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.”
Professor Danbatta spoke yesterday, August 24, at the Emerging Technology Forum for the telecommunications Industry, with the theme: ‘Contextualizing the Network Readiness Index (NRI) for the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry.”
He said that in recent years, the Nigerian telecommunications industry has embarked on a remarkable growth trajectory, solidifying its position as an engine of economic growth.
“The enhancement of digital access and the expansion of our networks have left an indelible impact on the lives of our citizens. “While we celebrate these accomplishments, we are keenly aware that our dynamic society requires even higher connectivity, reliability, and accessibility standards.
“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.”
Professor Danbatta said that to navigate this era of transformation, Nigeria must embrace innovation, make strategic investments, and cultivate a growth-friendly ecosystem.
According to him, this would be the nation’s gateway to innovative and disruptive solutions that can positively transform the telecom industry.
“By engaging in conversations about new technologies, collaborating with global best practices and subject-matter experts, and pooling our insights, we open the door to unimaginable future possibilities.
“Let us grasp this opportunity to investigate emerging technologies, envisage their potential applications and determine how they can be leveraged to solve our specific challenges.
Let me get down to the substance of the forum by stating the problem at hand:
“The global data collected by the NRI team reveals that digital transformation is a global imperative in order to maximize 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.”