The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said its next priority is the development of skills for Nigerians, including women, young girls and boys at all levels and across the 36 states of Nigeria and Abuja, Federal Capital Territory.
The Commission’s Head of Digital Skills and Services, Mrs. Freda Bruce-Bennett, stated this yesterday, while hosting a tech-savvy Nigerian at the ongoing AfricaNXT tech event under a theme: ‘The NCC Mandate Towards Realization of Full Digital Economy in Nigeria’.
She said the development of digital skills for Nigerians has become necessary following the creation of the Nigerian Office for Developing Indigenous Telecoms Sector (NODITS), whose mandate is to encourage indigenous participation in the telecom sector.
The creation of the NODITS, according to her has started yielding desired results as indigenous have now been engaged in the production of products and services that were hitherto imported. She noted that this move is boosting the government’s digital economy pursuit.
One of such product is the production of SIM cards, which she disclosed has helped the Nigerian government to save about $12 million owing to the ban of whole Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) importation. “As we speak, six indigenous companies were licensed by the NCC to manufacture SIM cards, four out of these six are operational and have manufactured over 100 million SIM cards, saving Nigeria about $12 million from the importation of SIM cards,” she said.
Also speaking on what the NCC is doing to drive the digital economy, the Head of Spectrum Administration at the NCC, Mr. Abraham Oshadami, said the Commission has slashed licensing fees for Internet Service Providers to as low as N500, 000.
This is an effort to the rollout of telecoms infrastructure across the country to achieve the National Broadband Plan of the Government.
Head of Financing and Stakeholder Management Team, NODITS at the NCC, Mrs. Aderonke Sola-Ogunsola expressed optimism that it is possible for the country to continue to make progress in the banning of more telecoms device such as Smartphone, phone chargers and SIM card, adding that before the ban, SIM was imported into Nigeria.
According to her, Nigeria has the capacity to manufacture SIM in Nigeria stressing that with the ban and the manufacture of SIM in the country, there will be the provision of more jobs and the saving of FOREX for the nation.
Meanwhile, the Director of Public Affairs at NCC, Mr. Reuben Muoka in his opening remark stated that digital literacy skills is one of the pivotal focus of the Commission stressing that without digital stills citizens will not be able to reach maximum derivation of the digital services and innovations- resulting from the efforts of the digital economy.
Muoka who moderated the panel session which was on the eight pillars of the digital economy stated that the NCC has been at the forefront of encouraging skills and innovation through the NODITS and giving all the perspectives from which the panelists spoke.