By Jessica DoGo
Keffi – The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta has advised the Federal Government to remain competitive so as to fulfil local demand in the ICT sector.
Danbatta, who was represented by the Director of New Media and Information Security, NCC, Dr Haru Alhassan, gave the advice at an ICT forum on emerging technologies research and ICT innovation, held in Keffi, Nasarawa State on Tuesday.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the two-day forum is: “Developing Nigeria’s Tech Eco-System: Imperative for improving Local Content.”
The EVC explained that the forum was necessary to promote local content with emphasis on the Tech ecosystem, identify needs yet to be met and facilitate Public private Partnership (PPP).
He harped on the usefulness of ICT as a tool to serve global markets.
He said: ” It is imperative that the right frameworks are developed to enhance the ability of indigenous companies to maximaly explore and exploit local opportunities as well as remain globally competitive.
“Nasarawa state has been the prominent state at the forefront of technology innovation, being the home of solid minerals with a plethora of skilled manpower.
“It is central to the technological development of the North central region.”
Danbatta said that the commission, in its efforts to encourage the ICT sector, had begun an assessment of development and challenges faced in the geo-political zones of the country.
He said that Mobile Network Operators had developed an infrastructure to support voice and data services.
This move the EVC stressed, had become expedient as they needed operators needed to unlock new services and sources of value generation as well as ensure revenue streams in their operations.
“It has, therefore, become necessary to innovate how to access segments of the consumer wallets not presently allocated to communication by providing solutions to consumer needs in other vertical areas.
“Areas such as Education, Health, Government Services, should be made available through telecoms network infrastructure.
“We have to be innovative to make different aspects of our lives work. We intend to assist the various tech-hubs with the right intervention and support to ease operations.”to
Mr Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, Managing Director, Info Graphics Nigeria, explained that the forum was an avenue for stakeholders in the ICT value chain to deliberate and suggest policies, regulatory frameworks and strategies.
This he said was necessary to facilitate innovation, stimulate market growth and create value in the industry.
Mba-Uzoukwu also said that the forum was driven by the urgency to facilitate and support ICT innovators, tech enthusiasts and tech entrepreneurs as a strategy to leap-frogging Nigeria into the digital economy.
He said that it was designed to advance the Commission’s agenda of promoting ICT Innovation and tech entrepreneurship to faciltate local content Development.
According to him,it is also to leverage on the power of digital technology to position Nigeria for the 21t century digital revolution.
“Today, ICT is continuously having an increasing transformational impact on our socio- economic lives. This is manifesting in the way we live, socialise, learn, trade and even the way we do business.
“It is a fact that ICT will remain the engine of economic growth, driving the future of nations and Nigeria has a lot to gain from its far-reaching applications and adoption.
“Indeed, tomorrow belongs to those who can create and innovate
“We have a lot of hubs now located in the geopolitical zones of the country, which has changed the narratives, “he said.