Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, on Thursday, in Lagos, assured the nation that Nigeria’s telecom regulatory framework has been designed to address the challenges that may arrive with the advancement of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the country.
Pantami, who spoke at the twin event featuring the Stakeholders Consultative Forum on Regulatory Roadmap for IoT Ecosystem in Nigeria, hosted by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and the presentation of two books authored by the Minister, declared that Nigeria has already exhibited its preparedness to harness the potentials of this new service, as demonstrated in the reduction in incidences of cybercrimes in Nigeria over the past two years.
He emphasised the need for the type of consultations and brainstorming being hosted for IoT, as the International Data Cooperation (IDC) revealed that, “By 2025, there will be about 46.1 billion IoT devices that are going to be interconnected globally…and through this connection, the data to be generated will be up to 79.4 zeta bites.”
At the gathering that featured presentations by local and international experts, with the Secretary of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Houlin Zhao, in virtual participation, Pantami said IoT is crucial to present day emergent technologies considering its connectedness to devices in facilitating productivity, minimize waste as well as ensure a faster decision making process where massive amount of data can be analysed and presented for decision making.
Earlier in an address of welcome, the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, explained that, in the process of undertaking its regulatory responsibility, the NCC has made it a consistent practice to interact with experts and key players in the industry on how best to facilitate the development of robust regulations for emergent technologies in the country.
Danbatta said this consultation presents a unique opportunity to appraise the emergence and future deployment of IoT products and services for the benefit of consumers in Nigeria.
In his goodwill message and review of one of the books authored by Pantami, titled ‘Datafication of Society to Foster an Internet Economy,’ the ITU scribe, Houlin Zhao, commended Nigeria’s cooperation within the international telecommunications community and how Pantami assisted in the facilitation of programmes of the ITU, including his recent chairmanship of the World Summit on Information Society at the ITU Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
In the review of Pantami’s second book titled ‘Cybersecurity: Initiatives for Securing a Country’, Prof. Mike Hinchey of the University of Limerik, Ireland, who doubled as keynote speaker at the event, commended the Minister, stating that the book is a bold statement that Africa is no longer waiting on the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry side-lines but now creating content for its institutions.
In a panel discussion, featuring experts from various sectors of the ICT industry, the challenges and prospects of IoT within the Nigerian telecom ecosystem were reviewed, with a view to preparing the country for the future application of IoT products and services.