Prince Osuagwu, Emmanuel Elebeke and Nnamdi Ojiego
Rising from a one day forum organized by Nigerian Communication Commission and Digital sense Africa, on five years of internet governance, stakeholders in the industry have joined their voices in calling for a broadband revolution in Nigeria. , saying thatÂ will moveÂ the country from analogue to digital economy.
They also stated that the nationâ€™s vision for 20 2020 can not be realized if the citizens are not fully empowered with access to internet services. They reasoned that if Revolution could take place in the telecom sector within ten years from 400,000 active lines in 2001 to 68 million active lines in March, 2010, nothing would stop the replication of the feat in the internet sector, saying that only the revolution will drive the desired development expected in the country before 20 2020.
Speaking at the occasion, the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund and former Director Information Technology Department, Federal ministry ofÂ information and communications, Mrs. Ibikun Odusote said
the importance of internet access in the nation building like Nigeria was critical and must be pursued with every seriousness. To achieve this, she said the ministry had put a plan in place to ensure that access to internet is made available to schools at all levelÂ across the country.
In addition to that, OdusoteÂ also disclosed that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) had equally come up with an initiative aimed atÂ establishingÂ ICT packs in various locations across the country.
In a presentation entitled: Nigeria Versus IPV6: The Adoption of IPV6 in Nigeria, Managing Director, InternetÂ Exchange Point Nigeria Limited, Muhammed Rudman said Nigeria is seriously lagging behind, not just on internetÂ penetration but also in IT generally. in terms of internet access and that effort must be geared towards improving the standard.
In another presentation on the topic â€œ.ng as a Goldmineâ€, the Vice President, Nigeria Internet Registration Association, Mrs. Mary Udoma said the benefits of .ngÂ were yet to be discovered by Nigerians, when it has a lot of benefits they can tap from and develop their talents. She Nigerians to explore the site and leverage on the numerous benefits it can offer to advance theirÂ tarlents and skills.
According to her, over 10,000 domain names had so far been registered in the site, saying that the potentials in it are capable of serving as a platform for some subscribers to move from local market place to the global stage.
She said Nigerians must first if all be IT compliant before they can think of competingÂ favourably at the world stage.
Earlier in her welcome address,Â the executive director, Operations, Digital Sense Africa, Mrs. Mkemjika Nweke said Digital Sense AfricaÂ provides Nigerian internet stakeholders a platform to in raise andÂ address salient issues that concernÂ the ICT sector, with particular reference to the Internet Governance-related issues and development in Nigeria.
As internet is fast becoming a part ofÂ lifeâ€™s routine and veritable tool for businesses, communications, social networkingÂ among others, she said the event was packaged in such a manner that experts would give motivational talks on the use of internetÂ for worthy livelihood and viable businesses in the country, with the sole aim of reducing the high rate of Cybercrime in Nigeria.
The President of the Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN) and Chairman of the occasion, Samuel AdelekeÂ earlier in his opening speechÂ regretted that Nigerian youths do not make use of more than 10 per cent of internet, rather what they dwell in was to engage in fraudulentÂ and immoral acts that will not benefit them.
According to him, the reason why people embark on yahoo yahoo is because they only act on what theyÂ hear, without doingÂ research..
He however challenge the youths to make out new ideas, for them to make more impact in life and also call for knowledge sharing among Nigerians. The idea, he saidÂ will help to fast track the economic growth of the society.
In his own presentation entitled â€œThe Position of NIG in 5 years of IGFâ€, Presdident of Nigeria Internet Group, Engr. Lanre Ajayi said the one day event served as a preparatory groundÂ for Internet Governance Forum scheduled to hold later this year in Vilnus, Lithuania. Engr. Ajayi said Nigerians had been denied access to internet for so long and as a result of which, the gap between the developed and developing countries keep widening.
He frownedÂ that Nigeria has only one percent broadband penetration as against the 30 per cent average of global penetration rate, warnedÂ that continue to hamper the development effort of the country ifÂ the trend persists withÂ the high incidence of Cybercrime, unlike in USA and South Korea that have achieved 63 and 75 percent penetration respectively.
The situation according to him, has provided a huge challenge to the country , maintaining that the economy will continue to crawl unless the it is addressed, it will discourage foreign investment.
To arrest the ugly trend, Engr. Ajayi called on the National Assembly to quickly pass the Cyber Security bill currently waiting consideration with the legislators, so that the law enforcement agencies in the country can be empowered to carry out their duties with less constraints.
While commending the federal government for adopting an open access policy on internet, he also stressed the need for the government to ensure the diversification of the languages available on theÂ internet into the local languages tp pave way for faster comprehension by the people.
In a similar presentation entitled â€œNigerian Digital Youths:
Making Sense out of Internetâ€, CEO New Horizons, Tim Akano said African continent has remained underdeveloped because its citizens have refused to maximize the potentials in internet services. Quoting a recent survey conductedÂ on the internet penetration level in Africa, Akano said that Africa only enjoy 8 per cent ofÂ internet, and asked what the continent is doing to tap into the remaining 92 per cent.
With concerted effort and collaboration by government and private sector participation, he said meaningfulÂ progress could be made in the nearest future. To him, only the youth in Africa canÂ take internet to the next level.
â€œOur parents canâ€™t take internet to the next level, it is the youth that will do it,â€ he noted,Â stressing that there are more sense in internet than the nonsense.