The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has charged tech startups across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria to be more innovative in churning out solutions that can address local societal challenges.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, gave the charge today at the Library Auditorium, American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, Adamawa State, at a two-day Emerging Technologies and ICT Innovation Forum with the Theme: ‘Developing Nigeria’s Tech Eco-System Imperative for Improving Local Content’.
Danbatta, who was represented at the forum by Dr. Chidi Diugwu, Deputy Director, New Media, and Information Security, noted that it has become necessary to promote local content with an emphasis on the Tech Startups ecosystem, stressing that there is a need for identifying unmet societal needs and find a way to address them.
“With the growing pressure of globalization, every government, as well as captains of industry, are charged with the burden of finding ways of fulfilling local demands. Not only that, but given the wide availability of information technology to serve markets globally, it is imperative that the right frameworks are developed to enhance the ability of indigenous companies to maximally explore and exploit local opportunities, as well as remain globally competitive,” the EVC said.
Danbatta also disclosed that the Commission, in its effort to encourage tech entrepreneurship and innovation in the ICT sector, embarked on visitations to various tech startups across the Six geopolitical zones to assess their development and challenges.
Meanwhile, the telecom regulator has said the ICT Innovation Forum has become necessary to promote local content with an emphasis on the Tech ecosystem, identifying unmet needs and facilitate Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
The Emerging Technologies Research and Innovation Forum, according to the Commission has been designed to advance the Commission’s agenda of promoting ICT Innovation, tech entrepreneurship, facilitate local content development while leveraging on the power of digital technology to position Nigeria for the 21s century digital revolution.
“The reason why we are here today distinguished ladies and gentlemen, is driven by the urgency to facilitate and support ICT innovators, tech enthusiasts and tech entrepreneurs as a strategy to leapfrogging Nigeria into the digital economy.
The Nigerian Communications Commission as a regulator of this sector appreciates her responsibility to introduce schemes that will promote innovations and facilitate tech entrepreneurship. We believe that this is very critical if we must facilitate the introduction of new value-added services that will improve the consumer quality experience,” added Engr. Ubale Ahmed Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services at the Commission.
Engr. Maska, who was also represented by the Director, Research and Development Department, Mr. Ephraim Nwokoneya, stated that, with ICT continuously having an increasing transformational impact on Nigeria’s socio-economic activities, it will also manifest in the way we live, socialize, learn, trade and even the way we do business.
He argued that ICT will remain the engine of economic growth, driving the future of nations and Nigeria has a lot to gain from its far-reaching applications and adoption, stressing that tomorrow belongs to those who can create and innovate today.
The Commission singled out the Adamawa State government, whom it said finding local solutions to the challenges of the industry is its key policy, as the state has been one of the prominent States at the forefront of technology innovation in Nigeria.
“Adamawa State, being the “Land of Beauty, Sunshine and Hospitality” has a plethora of skilled manpower and central in the technological development in the North East region of Nigeria.”
This, it said inspired the choice of the state, stressing that it is a city with a huge deposit of highly skilled workforce with creative and social intelligence minds that has the potential to become the foremost digital Hub in the North-Fast geo-political zone.