By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
Following approval of the National Policy on Fifth Generation (5G) technology deployment in Nigeria by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has urged the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to prepare for immediate and effective implementation of the policy.
The Minister gave the tall order when the Management of the Commission, led by its Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, paid him a courtesy visit in his office at the Communications and Digital Economy Complex, Mbora, Abuja on Thursday, September 9, 2021, a statement by the Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde disclosed.
According to Pantami, with the approval of the 5G national policy, which was a product of extensive and wide consultation, “the next big task ahead of the Commission is to begin immediate implementation to push forward the country’s march to increased digital transformation of the economy.
The Minister, who also commended the Commission on the launch of its Strategic Vision (Implementation) Plan (SVP) 2021-2025, the ‘NCC Global Connect’ podcast and compendium of EVC speeches and presentations, added that the SVP would be a veritable vehicle to give the needed impetus to the implementation of the 5G plan.
“The NCC needs to ensure total implementation of the SVP. We should try to have timelines and ensure to deliver on them.
“Developing the Vision Plan is commendable but ensuring diligent implementation is even more important. So, the EVC should commit to total implementation of the SVP,” the Minister said.
On the podcast, the Minister said, as a digital communication channel, “I see it as important because we need more sensitisation. We need to reach out to citizens and create awareness about our regulatory activities, change certain perceptions and counter some conspiracy theories against technologies and many more. The podcast is one of the best ways we would be able to achieve this,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Danbatta said the purpose of the visit was to “appreciate the Hon. Minister for his immense support and active role during the recent launch of three projects by the Commission; and to commend him for the important role he played in securing the final approval of the 5G national plan by the Federal Government.”
While describing the Federal Government’s approval of 5G national plan as “a development of unprecedented and profound historical significance to the Commission, telecom industry and other economic sectors,” Danbatta assured of NCC’s determination to diligently implement the 5G plan for the overall socio-economic benefits of Nigeria.
The EVC was accompanied on the courtesy visit by senior Management staff of the Commission. They include the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu; Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, Josephine Amuwa; Director, Corporate Planning, Strategy and Risk Management, Felix Adeoye; Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde; and the Director, Human Capital and Administration, Usman Malah.