Prof. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy assured the nation today (14th July 2022) in Lagos that Nigeria’s telecom regulatory framework has been designed to address the challenges that may arise with the advancement of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the country.
Pantami stated at a twin event – Stakeholders Consultative Forum on Regulatory Roadmap for IoT Ecosystem in Nigeria, hosted by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); and the presentation of two books authored by the Minister – that Nigeria has already demonstrated its readiness to harness the potentials of this new service, as evidenced by a decrease in cybercrime incidences in Nigeria over the past two years.
He emphasized the importance of the type of consultations and brainstorming sessions being held for IoT, as the International Data Cooperation (IDC) revealed that “by 2025, there will be approximately 46.1 billion IoT devices that will be interconnected globally…and the data to be generated will be up to 79.4 zeta bites.”
Pantami stated that IoT is critical to today’s emerging technologies because of its connectedness to devices in facilitating productivity, minimizing waste, and ensuring a faster decision-making process where massive amounts of data can be analysed and presented for decision-making at a gathering that featured presentations by local and international experts, with Secretary of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Houlin Zhao, participating virtually.
Earlier, in a welcome address, Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NCC, explained that, as part of its regulatory responsibilities, the NCC has made it a consistent practice to interact with experts and key players in the industry on how best to facilitate the development of robust regulations for emerging technologies in the country.
According to Danbatta, this consultation provides a unique opportunity to assess the emergence and future deployment of IoT products and services for the benefit of Nigerian consumers.
Prof. Mike Hinchey of the University of Limerick, Ireland, who also served as the event’s keynote speaker, praised Pantami’s second book, titled ‘Cybersecurity: Initiatives for Securing a Country,’ stating that the book is a bold statement that Africa is no longer waiting on the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry sidelines but is now creating content for its institutions.
The challenges and prospects of IoT within the Nigerian telecom ecosystem were reviewed in a panel discussion with experts from various sectors of the ICT industry, with the goal of preparing the country for the future application of IoT products and services.