NCC, NITDA Set Up Committee to Boost Nigeria’s ICT Devt

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Emma Okonji

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), have agreed to set up a joint committee to design a framework for collaboration to optimise development of telecommunications and ICT in the country.

This was a major outcome of the interactions between the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, when the acting Director General of NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olagunju, and his team paid a courtesy visit to the NCC headquarters in Abuja recently. Both agreed that a new era of interagency collaboration, especially within the sister ICT agencies would bring about desirable results, in line with global best practices.

The Joint Committee, to be chaired by a director at NITDA, Dr. Agu Collins Agu, is expected to provide detailed areas of collaboration and terms of reference, which will be initialed by the two organisations in due course.

Danbatta said the initiative would prove to the world that sister agencies in our clime can work together in the interest of the nation., and charged the committee members to work assiduously to ensure that the objective of the collaboration is realised.

“We must concentrate on those things that we know that with the right investments and involvement of our human capital resources, we would realise things that we can show the world about the giant strides that are being made in this country, especially in the area of Information and Communications Technology,” Danbatta said.

According to him, the agreement to collaborate remained consistent with the mandates of the two entities to ensure pervasive penetration of ICTs.

“But we have to be mindful of the fact that, the more you introduce services, the more your burden the infrastructure on ground. I hope that the committee will take cognizance of what you need to do to address the existing capacity of infrastructure,” Danbatta said.

He added: “What we are looking at is the progress we are steadily making by the day to ensure we reach the destination of what we call a networked society, a society that is e-driven, a society that is ICT driven, as well as a society that will be relying on the power and leveraging on ICT to conduct all kinds of businesses.”

According to Olatunji, there should be no rivalry in ways that the two organisations operate these days because it is all about common vision and common goals which are tied together for the future of our nation.

“The information technology sub-sector, and the telecom sector, already work together now in their operations. If those of us at the helm of affairs that are driving the industry do not work together, we will not go far”, he said.

Olatunji said the disposition of the EVC of NCC, in arriving at the decision to set up the committee has demonstrated the quality of leadership he has brought to bear in the sector.
Olatunji listed a number of major events being hosted by NITDA in Nigeria, and in Dubai to which the NCC has accepted to support NITDA, and also participate fully with the development agency in line with the new direction in collaboration.