Nigeria - Stakeholders across Nigeria’s telecoms sector, including Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami and Executive Vice Chairman of the

Nigerian Communications (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta, have charted a way forward to see that the Fifth Generation network (5G) is 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 recently 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 a keynote address at the forum, Professor 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 the 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 Mr 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.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Pantami, who was represented by Mr Abraham Oshadami, Head of Spectrum Administration Department of the NCC, noted that the 5G policy document aligns with other policies of the government and would 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 the Nigeria telecommunications sector,” he said.

The national policy on 5G networks for Nigeria’s digital economy addresses the provision of the required spectrum and enabling environment for 5G deployment, he added.

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, manufacturing, to lead to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), logistics, modernised mining and oil and gas operations.

While the forum featured various presentations and panel discussions, the focus remained intact as experts from both private and public sectors meted out useful clues to help Nigeria build a sustainable 5G ecosystem.

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