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NCC moves to regulate use of internet communications services

… puts sector’s contribution to GDP at 10.43%

By Emmanuel Elebeke

Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said the commission is taking necessary steps to establish a Code of Practice to regulate the use of internet communications services in the country.

•Prof Umar Garba Danbatta

Danbatta, who was represented by, the Director, Legal and Regulatory Services Department, Mrs Yetunde Akinloye stated this at a public inquiry on the establishment of the Internet Industry Code of Practice.

According to him, the draft internet industry code of practice aimed at securing the country’s cyber space against imminent threats from cyber attackers, occasioned by the liberalization of the industry and the high rate of evolution in mobile telecommunication, which has led to an increase in the use and dependence on the solutions/services that ride on it.

He said the draft also aimed at considering other factors, including online child protection, privacy and data protection, objectionable content and traffic management practices.

‘‘The Internet was designed to facilitate communication across different networks and jurisdictions. The liberalization of the Industry and rate of evolution in Mobile

Telecommunications has led to an increase in the use and dependence on the solutions/services that ride on it; it is a key driver of innovation and technological advancement.’’

Danbatta who emphasized the importance of the framework explained that the Sub-Saharan Africa loses 0.07 – 0.20% of its GDP to cybercrimes due to the absence of the internet industry code of practice, saying that it has become very vital to intensify efforts to secure the country’s cyber space against imminent threats.

‘‘It is important to note that Sub-Saharan Africa loses 0.07 – 0.20% of its GDP to cybercrimes as stated by the Internet Society and so it is very vital to intensify efforts to secure the country’s cyber space against imminent threats. We also consider other factors, including but not limited to online child protection, privacy and data protection, objectionable content and traffic management practices.

‘‘The global perspective is that the Internet be open and unregulated to foster creativity and increase access. Propositions are for either self-regulation or government regulation (in repressive economies); however, both have their advantages and disadvantages. Thus, the

drive for a co-regulatory practice as it relates to the Internet, in Nigeria.’’

He further explained that the Commission set out to establish this Internet Code of Practice to clearly define the rights and obligations of Internet Access Service Providers, put measures in place that will safeguard and protect minors, vulnerable audiences and consumers as a whole, in accordance with its mandate to regulate the Communications sector in Nigeria as expressed in the Nigerian Communications Act 2003,

‘‘This is envisioned as a co-regulatory effort between the Commission and industry stakeholders, hence the need for extensive public consultation and incorporation of stakeholder feedback into the final document.’’

Meanwhile, the EVC says the percentage contribution of telecoms industry to GDP so far is 10.43% in Q2, 2018.

This development, he said come with the challenge of safety, security and harnessing the benefits of the internet for good governance and better user experience.

‘‘The advent of the internet and the opportunity it provides is enormous and this has enabled significant socio-economic developments in the Country leading to growth in the Communications Industry in Nigeria.

‘‘So far, the percentage contribution of telecoms industry to GDP is 10.43% in Q2, 2018. With these developments come the challenge of safety, security and harnessing the benefits of the internet for good governance and better user experience.’’

Meanwhile, the framework was subjected to public scrutiny as stakeholders present criticized the draft and made valid inputs to enable the Commission come up with a more acceptable and robust code of practice for make Nigeria’s cyber space safer place for all.


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