New Telegraph

Pantami, Danbatta lead industry experts to chart way for 5G rollout

Stakeholders across Nigeria’s telecoms sector, including Nigeria’s minister of Communications and Digital Economy and Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications (NCC), have charted the way forward to see the fifth generation Network (5G) successfully deployed in Nigeria. Converged by Business Metrics Nigeria at the second edition of Policy Implementation Assisted Forum (PAIFo) dedicated to Nigeria’s national policy on 5G, held in Lagos, the industry experts dissected the policy in relation to the theme of the forum: “Ascertaining Full Readiness to make 5G Work in Nigeria.”

Delivering the keynote address at the forum, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta, identified three stakeholders critical to ascertaining readiness in the telecommunications industry, especially as it relates to the uptake of anything new such as emerging IMT technologies like 5G (IMT 2020). According to him, these stakeholders include government (policymakers), national regulatory authorities (regulators), and network operators. He said: “These stakeholders must ensure the provision of robust government policies, excellent regulatory and operational efficiency as well as optimum network performance.”

The NCC boss, who was represented by Joseph Emeshili, Principal Manager, Spectrum Administration Department of the NCC, further reiterated that to achieve success in the uptake of any technology within any administration, governments are required to put in place excellent policies that would foster development and provide adequate room for innovation. “As policymakers, government should foster a pro-investment and pro-innovation environment, it should also consider undertaking its own independent economic assessment of the commercial viability of deploying new technologies (such as 5G in this case) networks with a view to providing a clear regulatory path and to enable all relevant stakeholders including the network operators to make informed decisions,” he said.

In his remarks, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said the 5G policy captured all the necessary information guiding the processes for the deployment of the technology in Nigeria. The minister, who was represented by the Head of Spectrum Administration Department of the NCC, Abraham Oshadami, noted that the 5G policy document aligned with other policies of the government and will support their Implementation. “Some of these policies include the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for Digital Nigeria, the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP 2020-2025), and the National policy for the promotion of Indigenous Content in Nigeria Telecommunications sector,” he said. Similarly, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, acquainted the forum with various 5G use cases in Nigeria with a view to spurring investment appetite for the 5G technology.

In application, he said 5G would find massive usage in healthcare, agriculture, education, and manufacturing to lead to the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), logistics, modernised mining; and oil and gas operations. Meanwhile, the publisher and editor of Business Metrics Nigeria and Lead Executive of the Policy Implementation Assisted Forum (PIAFo), Omobayo Azeez, stressed that the focus of the forum was to ensure that critical policies are brought to fruition through active dialogue and unrelenting evaluation. “We believe there are two critical elements of nation-building; politics is one, and policy is the other. The latter is as indispensable as the former. In order for us to walk the talk of every policy, we should at least first understand what that talk is in its entirety. This is the strategic role PIAFo is designed to play,” Azeez said.

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