The Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Engr. Eugene Juwah has commended the Nigeria Information and Communications Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA) for putting together a seminar which is designed to enhance the skills of the Information Communication Technology journalists in reporting the dynamic ICT industry.
Juwah gave this commendation at the quarterly seminar organised by the NITRA in Lagos, adding that building capacity of ICT reporters and editors to understand and report the industry more accurately in a more simplified manner for the stakeholders, especially the consumers, is very dear to the heart of the Nigerian Communications Commission.
According to him, the theme of the seminar, ‘Engendering Local Innovation in the Nigerian Telecom Sector’, is equally as thought provoking as well as exciting, stressing that whatever comes out of the seminar would be a basis for the regulator to appraise her performance in imbibing the culture of innovation through regulatory processes and tools; to measure potentials and prospects of achieving remarkable innovation in the industry.
“From a regulatory point of view, innovation is key to the telecom industry. After the initial discoveries and development in the telecom sector, it is innovation that has catapulted growth in the sector to the height that it is achieved today. Innovation in the industry is also an attribute that is not exclusive to nations or states. The ready examples of uncountable number of apps developed in different parts of the world, riding on all available networks or platforms, shows that innovation is driving the industry.
“You may be aware that the Commission has adopted technology neutrality in its licensing process. The reason for this is to provide opportunity for creativity and innovation in the provision of services. Restriction of service to specific technologies may not allow for innovation.
“Provision of choice with the entry of multiple providers, and encouraging competition using regulatory tools is also designed to encourage local innovation in the provision of services. It is well known that innovation provides mutual benefit to bother the service provider and consumer of the service.
“You may have heard stories about how regulators in other African countries have been visiting the Commission to learn from our experience on the successful regulation of the industry. This success is measured in terms of how we have managed to used innovations to surmount our local environment, which otherwise would have been overwhelmed by many extraneous factors,” he said.
He pledged that the commission will continue to encourage innovations in all aspects of the industry, adding that when broadband services become very much available in Nigeria as planned, it will also come with inevitable push for more innovations in the ways services are delivered today.
He emphasized that innovations in the ICT industry may have contributed to the way journalists practice their profession, and noted that today’s journalists have found life much more easier in performing their jobs as a result of innovations that have been achieved, than their colleagues of 20 years ago.
Juwah opined that the seminar will discover many more profound innovations that have enriched the ICT industry in Nigeria, but noted that “we are talking more about innovations that add value to existing technologies that are not necessarily, developed locally.”
He commended Etisalat for sponsoring this particular seminar series for this quarter and urged other service providers to borrow a leaf from Etisalat in deepening capacity and skills of the members of the fourth estate of the realm.