NCC sets out a digital economy policy for Nigeria through new department
The Governing Board of the Commission approved the creation of the new department at its last meeting. The department is strategically and structurally placed under the Office of the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NCC. Engr. Babagana Digima, an Assistant Director in the Special Duties Department has been designated as the pioneer Head of the new department.
The EVC of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta explained, “placing the newly-created department under the Office of the EVC also underscores the importance the Commission places on the need to successfully drive the overall national digital economy strategy of the government through ensuring its effective monitoring and supervision.”
The digital economy policy document has eight pillars, which include: Developmental Regulation, focusing on effective regulation of the ICT and digital sector in a way that enables development; and secondly, digital literacy and skills, which encourages policy backing for massive training of Nigerians from all works of life in order for them to obtain digital literacy and other digital skills. This pillar will also facilitate the training of Nigerians.
The third pillar is Solid Infrastructure, which has to do with the deployment of fixed and mobile infrastructure to deepen the broadband penetration in the country; while Service Infrastructure is aimed at supporting Government Digital Services and the provision of robust digital platforms to drive the digital economy. The Soft Infrastructure element focuses on strengthening public confidence in the use of digital technologies and participation in the digital economy.
Digital Services Development and Promotion is the sixth pillar, which addresses the development of a vibrant digital ecosystem that supports Innovation-driven Enterprises (IDE) and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in a way that engenders innovation.
The seventh pillar is Digital Society and Emerging Technologies, focusing on tying the development of the digital economy to the well-being of the lives of ordinary citizens; mentoring start-ups in emerging technologies and deploying their solutions.
The eighth pillar of NDEPS is Indigenous Content Development and Adoption, which relies on the provision of a policy framework that gives preference to digitally-skilled Nigerians for government-funded projects.