Stakeholders at the eighth edition of the Nigeria DigitalSense Forum (NDSF) on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D) are of the consensus that the Federal Government should focus on using the Information Technology (IT) to engage the youth and also to create wealth for the nation.
Mrs Nkemdilim Nweke, Executive Director Operations DigitalSense Africa Media, the organizer of this event with the theme ‘Internet Governance creating opportunities for all Nigerians’ in her welcome address noted that the theme is apt considering the unemployment rate in our country today.
She stressed that the clash in the global price of crude oil has brought about challenging times to the country and businesses alike, hence the need to expose our teeming unemployed populace to the huge online job opportunities.
“At this point, I like to join forces in calling on the Federal Government to make Telecoms Infrastructure a critical National Resource as this would also mean protecting our jobs and businesses online because when Telecoms infrastructures are tempered with, our jobs and businesses online are affected,” she said.
She advised the youth to key into making use of their time online positively instead of while away the time especially when they have graduated from the university.
Mrs Nweke condemned in totality the motion before the National Assembly for a nine percent tax on all electronic services and this will further impoverish the teeming unemployed youths, thereby making it more difficult for people to access and share knowledge which the electronic communication is made to bridge.
Prof. Adesola Aderunmu, President Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) who is the Chairman of the occasion said that all businesses depend on internet in Nigeria, stressing that the 4.3 billion IPV4 address system are not enough and to deal with the shortage all devices should be configured to IPV6.
“At Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife we are trying to create a cyber-security lab at N24million in order to build capacity for Nigerians. There are six business opportunities for the IPV6 in Nigeria and all we need is to create IPV6 devices that can face our local challenges. We need a blue print to be able to define where we are, where we are going and where we want to be. I want to state that if our 10,000 members of NCS are to be engaged by the Federal Government they will be able to create enough jobs for our populace.
“NCS is trying to provide the enabling environment for business opportunity to grow in Nigeria. For example with the help of NCC and some investors what we are trying to do now is to develop an IT incubating centre where we can start developing the capacity of the youth. And in doing that the IT companies in Nigeria in collaboration we are hoping that before next year the infrastructure is going to be available where we build the capacity of these younger ones. By the time we are doing that we reducing the rate of unemployment in Nigeria which is the focus of the present administration,” Prof. Aderunmu added.
On his part, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta Executive Vice Chairman/CEO Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) who was represented by Engr Toyin Aseju, Deputy Director, Spectrum Administration (NCC) stated that the commission will provide the enabling environment and tasked the organisers to produce a communiqué that will assist in developing a policy for internet governance in Nigeria.
According to him, the 30 percent broadband penetration by 2018 is achievable and the customers are going to be the major beneficial of the broadband penetration.
“Over 107 percent of telecomsdensity has been achieved as Nigeria has the largest and fastest growing internet, contributes 8.88 percent to the nation’s economy and serves as the 5th most resilient sector in Nigeria,” he noted.