Business Metrics Nigeria has put together the second edition of its Policy Implementation Assisted Forum (PIAFo) to drive the 5G Policy, which was recently launched by  President Muhammadu Buhari to fruition.

The PIAFo, which is the second edition will have Minister Isa Pantami, Umar Danbatta, Godwin Emefiele and Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi headlining the forum on the 5G plan as Nigeria eyes a share from tech’s $13.2 trillion global gross domestic product (GDP).

Disclosing this in a statement, Omobayo Azeez, lead executive, PIAFo and managing editor, Business Metrics Nigeria, said: “The socio-economic benefits of 5G are enormous and every serious country will not only be interested in deploying the network but to also try to get it right. Since Nigeria is now leading other West African countries in the 5G race, we cannot afford any try and error.

“This second edition of PIAFo is private sector-led and most probably the last gathering of stakeholders across various sectors before 5G is eventually delivered to Nigerians. It is our aim that the forum would unearth a nexus of use cases that will further make an investment case for 5G to power its coverage in Nigeria, while also ensuring that no stone is left unturned in terms of regulatory demands to establish and sustain the 5G ecosystem,” he said.

The journey of the 5G evolution started many years ago and Nigeria surprised its peers in Africa when it emerged as the first country to exhibit a successful 5G trial in November 2019. This was followed by many other regulatory steps and the latest was the launching of the National 5G Policy and handing over of 5G spectrum to operators for the rollout of the technology.

In its usual way of driving policies to fruition through active dialogue that will lead to seamless implementation, this forum will feature all stakeholders that have been identified as critical and strategic to bringing the 5G dream to a reality in Nigeria.

The forum, slated for Thursday, March 31, 2022, at Radisson BLU Hotel, Isaac John, Ikeja, Lagos with the theme: ‘Ascertaining Full Readiness to Make 5G work in Nigeria’, will be led by Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, as the Special Guest Of Honour.

Also, in a letter to the organisers dated March 1st, 2022, Umar Danbatta, executive vice-chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), confirmed that he would be delivering a keynote address at the forum, while restating the support of the NCC for the project.

According to the organisers, Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), will also be delivering a paper at the forum to address the forex shortage for the importation of telecoms equipment that has remained a bottleneck over the years, and how special forex window can be created for 5G forex demands.

In addition, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the director-general and chief executive officer, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), is billed to deliver a paper on the application of 5G to the various sectors of the economy to evolve smart agriculture, telemedicine, e-learning, smart security and smart industries in the country to power the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).

Apart from the aforementioned, Azeez said that other participants include Mobile network Operators, vendors, data centres, Towers and Fibre companies, internet service providers (ISPs), Satellite operators, state government agencies, infrastructure companies, banks, manufacturers, advocacy groups, data protection and cybersecurity firms and agencies, the press, among others.

According to him, the event will feature keynote addresses, paper presentations, panel discussions, networking, Q&A sessions, tea break and lunch, and photo sessions. He added that the forum would be hybrid, to allow stakeholders to participate actively both online and at the venue.

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