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SystemSpecs seeks collaborations for sustainable ICT sector

Technology firm, SystemSpecs, has stressed the importance of collaboration in the sustenance of the information, communication and technology (ICT) sector.

Executive Director, SystemSpecs, Deremi Atanda, who said this, disclosed that Nigeria needs to harness emerging opportunities through productive collaborations at various levels.

Atanda spoke as a panelist during a recent webinar organised by the Telecommunications and Technology Sustainability Working Group (TTSWG), themed ‘Collaborations for a Resilient ICT Sector.’

Atanda reiterated strategy, planning and actions as key areas to drive collaborations that would work while highlighting that awareness plays an integral part in this campaign.

He suggested some steps, including the embedding of sustainability in the training curriculum at various levels, a handbook that captures the history of ICT in Nigeria and documentation of top 100 ICT projects created by Nigerians in Nigeria or diaspora.

Citing the situation in which 50 to 60 per cent of Federal Government workers were asked to work from home at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Atanda described the use of technology as the new normal.

He also noted that the firm supported government at both federal and state levels with computers and broadband connectivity in order to keep functioning optimally while employees worked remotely.

According to him, in telecommunications and technology, as in any other sector, partnerships between the government, the commercial sector, and civil society, are required for sustainable development.

The TTSWG webinar brought together an array of sector stakeholders to chart pathways for an inclusive and sustainable ICT sector at the national, state, and local levels.

During the webinar, there were discussions with leading sector experts, focusing on the need for partnerships between key stakeholder groups to address the stumbling blocks to sustainable development within the booming ICT sector.

NCC, Google collaborate on internet affordability

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Google Global Services Nigeria have expressed determination to work together to actualise the national targets for ubiquitous broadband access in furtherance of Nigeria’s digital transformation policy.

This aligns with and gives unambiguous expression to NCC’s strategic vision plan centring on strategic partnership and collaboration with necessary stakeholders to achieve regulatory objectives.

The two organisations made the commitment when a delegation from Google Global Services Nigeria paid a courtesy visit to the Commission’s Head Office in Abuja to deliberate on viable collaborative interventions to propel digital transformation across the country and Africa.

Receiving the Google delegation, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said the commission’s expectations, initiatives, and vision towards increasing broadband penetration, quality of service, advancement of a digital economy and commitment to improving national security through technological advancement are at the front burner of its regulatory interventions.

Underscoring the importance of such synergy between the commission and Google, Danbatta, who was represented by the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services (ECTS), NCC, Ubale Maska, said the Commission looked forward to making the initiatives of both parties more impactful by enhancing cooperation between the NCC and Google Nigeria for quantifiable and remarkable impact.

The EVC expressed optimism that Google’s investment in the subsea cable, Equiano, which is expected to land in Nigeria by end of April 2022, will be more impactful in driving NCC’s ongoing implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025, aimed at increasing broadband penetration to 70 per cent by 2025.

“I am hopeful that Equiano will have additional landing points in the hinterlands through collaborative efforts with the licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) to reduce retail data prices significantly and thereby complementing the commission’s efforts at ensuring affordable Internet services are available to boost the Commission’s ongoing broadband policy drive,” he said.

Earlier in her remarks, the Director, Google West Africa, Juliet Ehimuan, who led the delegation to NCC, commended the NCC for its consultative approach in formulating regulatory policies, as an engine room for optimal delivery of telecommunications services that will in turn impact the digital economy drive of the government.

She particularly applauded the commission for its seamless, fair, credible, impartial and successful auction of the 3.5GHz spectrum for the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) in Nigeria, stating that it is evident that both the NCC and Google share a common goal.

According to Ehimuan, demands for Internet services have increased the need for more capacity, and sustainable collaborations with all relevant stakeholders within the public and private sectors. She asserted that Google’s commitment of $1 billion across five years in various interventions will support digital transformation in Nigeria and across Africa.

Ehimuan stated that research has proven that Africa will have an additional 300 million Internet users and Nigeria will lead in that number, given its current statistics of over 141 million internet subscribers and broadband penetration of over 40.88 per cent as of January 2022.

 

 

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