Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
It is with great pleasure I address you today at this esteemed
“Emerging Technology Forum for the Telecommunications
Industry”. This forum aims to establish a National Network
Readiness Index (NRI) by exploring the driving factors of
emerging technologies, further examining the sustainability and
barriers of the NRI’s four pillars – Technology, People,
Governance, and Impact.
The NRI, widely used for monitoring access and impact of
Information and Communication Technology (ICT), is an
invaluable tool for identifying gaps, stimulating action, structuring
policy dialogue, and tracking ICT readiness over time. The Tech
Industry is a focal point of Nigeria’s growth, demonstrated by the
recent investments in infrastructure and digital services. Statistics
from the National Bureau of Statistics indicate that Nigeria’s ICT
sector contributed up to 14.07% to the total GDP in the first
quarter of 2020, and this had grown to 17.47% by Q1 2023.
The Federal Government’s focus on the Tech Industry,
particularly on fostering the advancement and growth of
technology especially emerging and new technologies is highly
commendable. This is one of the objectives of the NCC in its
strategic pillar: Promotion of DIGITAL ECONOMY and is
cascaded to the New Media and Information Security Department
as one of its critical mandates . This goal of enhancing the
productivity ecosystem, is expected to result in a significant boost
to the nation’s innovative capabilities in the coming years.
There has been remarkable development in Nigeria’s ICT
infrastructure in recent years, with skyrocketing mobile penetration
rates, and internet connectivity expanding drastically. The
Commission’s commitment to enhance network infrastructure,
coupled with the private sector’s contributions has significantly
transformed our connectivity landscape. It is crucial to note that
the NRI is not just about the latest technologies or high-speed
internet access. It also includes elements such as affordability,
digital skills, and the availability and adoption of digital services in
various sectors of the economy.
Nigeria’s performance on the NRI index from 2020 to 2022, as
reported by the Potulans Institute, indicates a mixture of
improvement and challenges that still persists. Thus, applying the
Network Readiness Index in the Telecommunication Industry is of
paramount importance in our current digital ecosystem. Utilising
the insights it brings allows us to amplify our strengths, address
our challenges, and propel our nation into a brighter digital future.
However, despite the importance of NRI in channelling the
strengths and opportunities of our tech ecosystem, it is imperative
that the metrics are localized to reflect our current realities.
As we move forward, let us embrace the insights offered by the
NRI to guide our policies, investments, and collaborations to
enable us harness the potentials of emerging technologies,
investing in human capital, and fostering innovation that will
unlock new opportunities, bridge the digital divide, and create a
prosperous and inclusive digital future for Nigeria.
I wish us all a successful discourse and outcome.