The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has declared that Nigeria is home to 82 per cent of Africa’s telecom subscribers and 29 per cent of the continent’s internet consumers.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, who disclosed this in an address at the opening ceremony of the Emerging Technology Forum for the Telecommunications Industry held in Lagos, however said that Nigeria still requires higher connectivity, reliability and accessibility standards.
Danbatta, who was represented at the Forum by Director of Spectrum Administration of the NCC, Engr. Abraham Oshadami, said that 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.
The NCC Executive Vice Chairman further noted that the forum was important as it would allow conversations about new technologies, collaborating with global best practices by subject-matter experts thereby pool insights which is so needed.
Danbatta noted that the global data collected by the NRI team revealed that digital transformation is a global imperative in order to maximize the social and economic effects of the digital era.
He further said; “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.
“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?
“The NRI is a guiding metric that measures the role and impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). It explores the performances of 131 economies in four key categories: technology (infrastructure), governance, people, and impact,” he said.
Danbatta therefore, said that as agents of social and economic transformation in our nation, prioritizing network readiness is not only a strategic necessity but, a mandate.