In an attempt to have a policy environment in which regulatory frameworks for each of the sub-sectors is harmonized across all sectors, leading to cohesive growth of the ICT industry, the Nigerian government in 2012 came up with a Harmonized National Information Communication Technology (ICT) Policy.
The objective is to have a policy frameworks guiding each of the ICT sub-sectors in the country and subsequently stimulate a harmonised national ICT policy that will create a digital economy.
This was further given emphasis last year, when the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami unveiled the Federal Government’s National Digital Economy Policy & Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030 with eight distinctive pillars.
These pillars have encapsulated what needs to be done to drive each of the sub-sectors for better ICT industry development. The 8-pillar captured all the sub-sectors of the Nigerian ICT ecosystem and how government intends to synergise all of them for effective digital economy.
- Developmental Regulation: This speaks to effective regulation of the ICT and digital sector in a way that enables development on the entire economy.
- Digital Literacy and Skills: Providing policy backing for massive training of Nigerians from all works of life in order to enable them obtain digital literacy and other digital skills. This pillar is also expected to facilitate the training of Nigerians.
- Solid Infrastructure: Deployment of fixed and mobile infrastructure to deepen the broadband penetration in the country.
- Service Infrastructure: Support for Government Digital Services and the provision of robust digital platforms to drive the digital economy.
- Soft Infrastructure: Strengthening public confidence in the use of digital technologies and participation in the digital economy.
- Digital Services Development and Promotion: Development of a vibrant digital ecosystem that supports Innovation Driven Enterprises (IDE) and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in a way that engenders innovation.
- Digital Society and Emerging Technologies: Focus on tying the development of the digital economy to indices of well-being in the lives of the ordinary citizens; mentoring startups on emerging technologies and deploying their solutions.
- Indigenous Content Development and Adoption: Provision of a policy framework that gives preference to digitally skilled Nigerians for government funded projects in line with the Executive Orders 003 and 005 of the current administration.
Speaking about these 8-pillar recently, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta stated that these pillars will accelerate the development of a digital economy in Nigeria.
Also, in an effort to implement policy expectations contained in NDEPS and other similar digital economy-targeted polices such as the Nigerian National Broadband Plan, among others, the NCC has developed a new Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) and Strategic Management Plan (SMP).
The new roadmap, a 5-Point Agenda, according to the NCC has the overarching objective of increasing connectivity, drive innovation and service experience.