The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta said ICT holds great potential for the nations transformation. “Although Nigeria has already plugged into the ICT ecosystem, it is yet to harvest fully the dividends of the ICT revolution sweeping across the world”. Danbatta said so passionately on Saturday in Lagos at the ICT industry most prestigious annual event - THE BEACON OF ICT DISTINGUISHED LECTURE/AWARDS – which took place at Eko Hotel and Suites, on Victoria Island.
Danbatta stated this in remarks presented on his behalf by Sunday Dare, NCC’s Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management who represented him at the event where NCC also carted away three prestigious awards - THE REGULATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD; THE ORGANISATION WITH THE BEST USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA AWARD; and THE ICT SPOKESPERSON OF THE YEAR AWARD received by Tony Ojobo, NCC’s Director Public Affairs.
He noted that while the youth have fully embraced ICT, our government, institutions (both public and private) are still in the process of fully adopting ICT in their operations and activities despite its huge promises. “Although government has made commendable strides but a more systematic and accelerated approach will yield more dividends, and create more opportunities and jobs for the economy and the youth in particular”, Danbatta stated to an audience which responded with an ovation that resonated beyond the precinct of the venue of the event.
Professor Danbatta thus advised that Nigeria’s educational curricula must integrate ICT at all levels of education and our systems and institutions must be brought into compliance by training and re-training. Demonstrably, he added, that NCC has been in the forefront of providing education in the telecoms and IT spheres as he recalled that the Commission started this in 2004 when it established the Digital Bridge Institute, DBI, to provide capacity building and redress dearth of appropriate skills in the emergent telecom sector. The DBI, a multi-campus institution based in Abuja with footprints in Lagos, Kano and Enugu, is modeled after similar ICT universities and institutions.
Indeed, industry pundits, stakeholders and other enthusiasts would easily recall that NCC and its constitutive department - the Universal Service Provision Fund, USPF - have made at least a thousand interventions in terms of provision of physical ICT infrastructure in communities and educational institutions in all the States and in all the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
The Distinguished Lecture delivered by Peter Arogundade, CEO Sidmach Technologies, titled EMPOWERING YOUTH THROUGH DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP was quite provocative, anecdotal and incisive. It clearly underscored the potential and opportunities locked in the ICT sector waiting for the youth and all of us to explore in order to migrate from being digital natives to digital citizens. A scenario Danbatta had referred to in his stimulating remark when he noted that evidence of the potential of ICT can be seen in millions of startups that have grown to be successful businesses with assets quantifiable in millions of dollars.
The 2017 BEACON of ICT Distinguished Lecture, organized by NIGERIA COMMUNICATIONS WEEK, again created an evening devoted to chart the way to go for Nigeria’s ICT sector, while the Awards “reward and celebrate individual skills, innovative brilliance and organizational Mr. Sunday Dare, NCC's Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management (ECSM) addressing the forum on behalf of EVC NCC, Prof. Danbatta