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AfricaNXT 2022: Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity

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Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity

…Pivot future of work, business growth, content development on digital connectivity

Olushola Okunlade Writes

As the weeklong 2022 edition of AfricaNXT opened today at the Landmark Event Centre, Lagos, discussants at panel sessions and other participants have acknowledged the positive impact of the Federal Government’s policy and regulatory efforts, through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in fostering increased connectivity.

There was a groundswell of opinion that improved connectivity has enhanced individual and corporate activities that are bolstering socio-economic development in Nigeria.

The discussants particularly identified the critical role that digital connectivity is playing and will continue to play in shaping the future of work and the development of commercial activities in the country.

At a panel discussion, titled: “Bridging the African Digital Economy Gap,” discussants examined, in great depth and perspectives, how the digital economy gap can be addressed in Nigeria and across Africa towards supporting business owners to sustainably grow global brands emerging from the African continent.

Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity
Ngozi Odita, CEO & Co-Founder, AfricaNXT.
Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity
Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity

Also, at a panel discussion on “Future of Work: Exploring Pathways to Careers in the Digital Age”, panelists emphasised the transformational role digital connectivity is playing in bringing about an efficient work environment, virtual collaboration at the workplace, mobile work as well as remote work, thus replacing the hitherto brick and mortar business model, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Formerly known as Social Media Week Lagos, now rebranded AfricaNXT, the conference and festival are one of the largest technology events in Africa, with a gathering of business owners, innovators, technology enthusiasts, and regulators, to discuss and network on how Africa can take its befitting place in the emerging global digital economy.

Already, the NCC delegation has arrived at the venue of the event in high spirit ready to participate in the various panel sessions ahead of the main NCC panel session on Fifth Generation Deployment scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 3, 2022.

The panel session to be constituted by senior staff of NCC, on various regulatory aspects of 5G being driven by the NCC to deepen digital connectivity, will be a forum to educate hundreds of participants expected at the NCC panel session.

There are indications of enthusiasm about the NCC discourse and participants seem ready to use the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the new technology.

Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity
Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity
Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity

Over the years, NCC has put in place an effective regulatory regime that has continued to make the country witness increase in its Internet penetration and usage of digital media.

As of December 2021, active mobile Internet subscriptions reached over 141 million; active mobile (voice) subscriptions stood at 195.4 million, broadband penetration has reached 40.88 per cent while digital economy access gaps identified by the Commission are being drastically reduced to ensure saturated Internet connectivity across the country.

Besides, the Commission has facilitated the deployment of emerging technologies from the First Generation (1G), to 2G, 3G, and 4G-LTE, and is vigorously driving the deployment of 5G network in the country with the recent auction of 3.5 gigahertz (Ghz) spectrum licenses to operators that will deploy 5G technology in the country.

Also, NCC is driving the effective implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy & Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030, and the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025 to actualize the laudable targets of deepening broadband penetration, reducing the cost of broadband services, and improving digital literacy and skills. These, participants reckoned, have transformed businesses with multiplier effect on Nigeria’s GDP in which the telecom sector contributes more than 12 percent.

Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity
Participants Acknowledge Policy, Regulatory Impact on Digital Connectivity
Ngozi Odita, CEO & Co-Founder, AfricaNXT.
Ngozi Odita, CEO & Co-Founder, AfricaNXT.

Earlier, at the first business session hosted by The Guardian newspaper, held after the opening plenary, discussants and participants visualised how African stories will be told in the next 10 years. There is a convergence of opinions that great developments in Africa could propel the emergence of great brands that can shape the nature of content as well as their narrations to the benefit of Africa.

Furthermore, the extant NDEPS, the NNBP, and the New Policy on 5G networks for Digital Nigeria are expected to combine to shape the nature of and significance of content generation, processing, and dissemination in Africa.

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“NCC Committed To Promoting Organizational Efficiency, Capacity Building” – Danbatta

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NCC committed to promoting organizational efficiency, capacity building

…set to strengthen strategic collaboration with NIM

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has once again reiterated its stance on professionalizing its workforce and strengthening collaborations with strategic partners such as the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) in order to enhance operational efficiency.

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC Prof. Umar Danbatta, stated this while receiving a delegation led by the Acting Registrar and CEO of NIM, Jude Iheanacho, who paid a courtesy visit to the NCC Head Office recently.

NCC committed to promoting organizational efficiency, capacity building
Left-Right: Folorunso Mesele, Principal Manager, Human Capital, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Tony Iloabachie, Assistant Manager, Abuja Office, Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM); Ibrahim Dogarai, Head, Administration, NCC; Emeka Iwelunmor, Head, Abuja Office, NIM; Usman Malah, Director, Human Capital and Administration, NCC; Jude Iheanocho,Acting Registrar/CEO, NIM; Nancy Usman, Secretary, Maitama Chapter and member of the Faculty, Tunji Jimoh, Deputy Director, Administration, NCC; Dr. Shafi Ndanusa, Assistant Director, Administration, NCC at the meeting that took place in the NCC Head Office, Maitama, recently.
NCC committed to promoting organizational efficiency, capacity building
Malah and Iheanocho during the courtesy call
NCC committed to promoting organizational efficiency, capacity building
Management of the two organisations, deliberating.

Director, Human Capital and Administration, Usman Malah, who represented the EVC at the event, noted that the Commission places a high premium on capacity building and is implementing policies geared towards achieving this vital objective. Malah also said that it was in the Commission’s best interest to deepen its collaboration with NIM, through strategic partnering, so that NCC can improve organisational efficiency and regulatory excellence.

Speaking further, Malah declared that the Commission’s faith in the transformational capacity of skilled human resources is demonstrated by the Commission’s support to staff who are members of the Institute. The support includes prompt payment of membership fees for its staff; and subscription to and participation in NIM’s mandatory capacity building programmes for members.

Malah promised to make recommendations to the Management of the Commission to take additional steps in solidifying the strategic relationship, such as setting up a joint committee of the two bodies to draw up modalities for inter-agency collaboration.

Iheanacho, in his response, lauded NCC for its positive contribution to the telecommunications sector and also said a highly-skilled, highly professional workforce was needed to regulate the dynamic, competitive, and highly intellectual world of telecommunications. The NCC, Ihenacho observed, has been an exemplary public sector institution noted for its proactive, all-inclusive engagement of stakeholders in the telecoms sector.

NCC committed to promoting organizational efficiency, capacity building
Mesele and Jimoh, at the event.
NCC committed to promoting organizational efficiency, capacity building
NCC committed to promoting organizational efficiency, capacity building
NCC committed to promoting organizational efficiency, capacity building

The NIM Chief Executive, who acceded that there was a need for strategic partnership between the two organisations, also declared that there were a variety of emergent upskilling programmes by NIM aimed at ensuring that Nigeria was in tune with global trends.

Iheanacho also informed the Commission that programmes such as the Mandatory Continuing Professional Education Programme; and the Continuing Learning and Development programmes were examples of programs that dealt with contemporary issues in management which NCC can leverage for improved workplace efficiency.

The Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) was established in 1961, through the enabling Act, the Nigerian Institute of Management (Establishment) Act was enacted by the National Assembly on July 19, 2003.

The objectives of the institute include the development of good management, professionalizing management, and improving and standardizing management in Nigeria.

The reception of the NIM team and the interaction took place at the NCC Conference Hall and was attended by the Head of Administration at NCC, Ibrahim Aliyu; Head of Human Capital, Safiya Jijji, who was represented by Folorunsho Mesele, a Principal Manager in the Human Capital Department.

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NCC Advises On Automatic Updates Of Antiviruses To Avoid Vulnerabilities

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NCC Issues Final Letters Of Licence Awards To 5G Spectrum Winners

NCC Advises on Automatic Updates of Antiviruses to Avoid Vulnerabilities

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has advised telecom consumers and other Information and Communications Technology (ICT) end-users on the need to always enable automatic update features for AVAST and AVG antiviruses to prevent potential cyber vulnerabilities.

This was contained in a new advisory released by the Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT), the cybersecurity centre for the telecom sector established by the Commission, in continuation of its resolve to always keep Nigerians safe in cyberspace.

The advisory noted that cyber vulnerability in AVAST and AVG Antiviruses can lead to attacks on millions of devices with high impact in terms of consequences to the ICT user. The threat types as a result of this vulnerability are Bypass Authentication, Remote Code Execution, and Unauthorised Access while consequences range from Privilege Escalation, Bypass Security Products, Overwrite systems Components and corruption of the Operating System.

According to CSIRT, researchers at SentinelOne security firm have discovered two potentially damaging vulnerabilities in AVAST and AVG antivirus products that allow attackers to escalate privileges enabling them to disable security products and overwrite system components, corrupt the operating system, or perform malicious operations unimpeded.

“Two vulnerabilities identified as CVE-2022-26522 and CVE-2022-26523 targeted the “Anti Rootkit” driver of Avast antivirus (also used by AVG) allowing an attacker with limited privileges on the targeted system to execute code in system mode (kernel mode) and take complete control of the device. Moreover, the vulnerabilities allow complete take-over of a device, even without privileges, due to the ability to execute code in kernel mode,” the CSIRT said in the advisory.

However, the cybersecurity center has offered a tripartite measure that should be taken by Internet/ICT users to prevent being vulnerable to cyber threats. They include enabling the automatic update features for AVAST and AVG antiviruses, upgrading AVAST and AVG antiviruses to version 22.1.2504, as well as carrying out regular patch management.

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Danbatta Applauds Pantami’s Appointment As WISIS Chair

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NCC Releases Final Information Memorandum For Auction Of 3.5GHZ, Compile Responses To Stakeholders

…Hon. Minister has been playing in driving fundamental digital economy policies – Danbatta

Olushola Okunlade Writes


The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has congratulated the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, on his appointment as the Chairman of the 2022 World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Forum by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Danbatta described the choice of the Minister as chair of the Forum as a worthy recognition of Nigeria’s leadership role in the global digital economy ecosystem, noting that Nigeria has continued to hold a front-row seat in the promotion of information and communication technology (ICT) as a driving force for national development since the assumption of office of the Minister.

“On behalf of the Board, Management, and Staff of the Nigerian Communications Commission, I want to express our profound delight and congratulations to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, on his well-deserved appointment by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to chair this year’s WSIS Forum”, Danbatta stated.

“The appointment did not surprise us at NCC, given the important role the Hon. Minister has been playing in driving fundamental digital economy policies, being implemented by agencies under his supervision, in order to boost the diversification policy of the Federal Government,” the EVC said.

“We are, therefore, happy to associate with the Minister on this feat, as it means greater recognition for Nigeria. The appointment is an indication that the world has continued to take notice of the giant strides of Nigeria’s digital economy under the supervision of the Minister.

The NCC will continue to do everything within its regulatory mandate to further support the Federal Government’s drive for ubiquitous, affordable, and accessible digital services across all nooks and crannies of the country,” Danbatta said.

Following consultations with various stakeholders, the ITU recently notified the Minister via a letter, of his appointment as the 2022 WSIS Chairman.

The ITU is orgainsing the WSIS 2022 Forum in collaboration with other agencies with the United Nations with a focus on “ICTs for Well-Being, Inclusion, and Resilience: WSIS Cooperation for Accelerating Progress on the SDGs”.

As has been noted elsewhere, the appointment of Prof. Pantami has given Nigeria, and indeed, the African continent, the unique role of coordinating the activities of the WSIS in its 20th year, following the WSIS Phase I meeting which took place in 2003.

The WSIS Forum 2022, which will be attended by several high-level stakeholders, including Cabinet Ministers from ITU countries, will serve as a key platform to discuss the role of ICTs as a means to bolster the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals targets. The discourse will take place in the context of the mechanism for follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UNGA Resolution A/70/1).

The WSIS Forum also provides an opportunity to track the achievements of WSIS Action Lines in collaboration with the UN Agencies involved and provides information and analysis on the implementation of WSIS Action Lines since 2005. The Forum aims at enhancing cooperation, partnership, innovation, exchange of experiences, and good practices in ICTs for sustainable development across the world.

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