Cross section of participants at the ongoing 10th Edition of the National Council on Communications and Digital Economy, which commenced at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, since 4th December 2022, have commended the Federal Government for its commitment in providing leadership and guide for industry growth.
The commendation followed the listing of about 20 policies by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami aimed at promoting different areas of the digital economy, including the flagship National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020 – 2030, and the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025 – all of which have started to yield concrete, positive results for the economy.
Pantami said the recent assessments by the Foreign Development and Commonwealth Office (FDCO) and the KPMG Consulting which adjudged the communications and digital economy sector as the best performing sector in Nigeria, were based on 8 key priority areas, one of which was in revenue generation, where the sector has raised government revenue profile by 594 percent.
Among those who applauded the Federal Government’s vision for the sector are the Secretary to Oyo State Government, Her Honour Olubamiwo Adeosun, who represented His Excellency Oluseyi Makinde, Governor of Oyo State; and the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta.
Emphasising the centrality of digital innovation and digital entrepreneurship to a robust digital economy, the Minister commended the participants for the quality of evaluation, recommendations, and criticisms that attended the memoranda presented at the Council. He urged the media to give the best coverage to the communique to be issued after the meeting. He also enjoined professionals in the media systems of communication to note specific recommendations and the corresponding role of each stakeholder in the implementation of each item in the communique.
The Minister announced that 110 memoranda and recommendations were presented to the Council, out of which 67 were approved for implementation. The remaining 43 recommendations are to be reconsidered in the next meeting of the Council.
Pantami thanked the Government of Oyo State and the Olubadan of Ibadan, His Imperial Majesty, Dr. Lekan Ishola Balogun Alli, Alliwo Okumade II, for receiving him and his team on the courtesy visit he paid earlier to the Palace, and to the Governor’s Office where Adeosun had also received the Minister on behalf of the Governor.
In his goodwill message, the EVC/CEO of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta praised the minister for his impeccable supervisory role as the leader of the sector. Danbatta also praised the Federal Government for being the most revolutionary administration in its commitment to the utilisation of digital resources for the growth of individuals, businesses and the national economy through design of policies to achieve concrete, measurable and remarkable deployment of cutting-edge technological applications.
On behalf of the Board and Management of NCC, Danbatta thanked participants for their attendance and active participation, which attested to the importance they all attached to the promotion of digital economy and culture.
Amplifying the voice of the Minister, the EVC stated that the participants’ commitment to government’s digital economy agenda has been well demonstrated in the methodical review of the recommendations of the 9th Council meeting, objective identification of achievements, and the frank approach taken to chart the path towards future goals and expectations.
The EVC promised that, “NCC remains committed to supporting all policies, strategies, plans and initiatives that promote the provision of modern, universal, efficient, reliable, affordable, and easily accessible communications services that give the widest range throughout Nigeria”. He also emphasised that it is in demonstration of its commitment that the Commission undertook a timely release of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band for the deployment of 5G services to ensure that Nigerian citizens, businesses, public institutions and other stakeholders are enabled with requisite infrastructure to engage in the emergent digital economy and culture.