Embrace common direction toward sustainable internet governance, NCC urges stakeholders

Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), on Thursday urged stakeholders to forge a common direction toward a sustainable internet governance.

Danbatta made this plea at the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum 2019 held at Muson Centre, Lagos.

Theme of the event was: “Enabling Digital Common Wealth for Development.”

Danbatta, represented by Dr Chidi Diugwu, Head of New Technology and Assessment, said that Internet was one of the most important and critical resources of our time.

“Internet has the potential for both good and bad transactions.

“Consequently, the Internet Governance Forum was established in July 2006 for policy dialogue on issues and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.

“However, to achieve an efficient and effective identification of potential challenges, implementation of policies and functional stakeholder engagement, there is a need to domesticate the activities and benefits of the Global Internet Governance Forum (GIGF), ” he said.

Danbatta said that the desire to integrate local participation gave rise to the Nigerian Internet Governance Forum (NIGF).

He said that the forum was dealing with challenges and policy issues as it related to local use of the Internet.

According to him, the Nigerian Internet Governance Forum deals with activities and issues of 119 million Internet subscribers as at April 2019.

“To put this in perspective, when the NIGF 2018 was held, there was 103 million Internet subscribers, representing an increase of 16 million subscribers.

“But, there is much more to these figures, simply because each and every one of these active users is connected to as many others as are socially desired.

“For us as a responsive regulator, we must not only be professionally dealing with the ensuing challenges, but also must be seen to be contributing to holding every Internet user accountable to their behaviour.

“Thus, the commission encourages good internet usage through the establishment of internet Industry Code of Practice,” Danbatta said.

He said the overarching aim of the forum was to become part of the digital commonwealth, adding that the digital commonwealth defines our collective responsibility in the digital age.

Also, Mr Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative, said that conversation around internet governance should be a lot more professional.

“Issues surrounding governance should not only be discussed as a mere topic at forum, but ideas from such conversations should be used to influence policies.

” Also, the local Internet Governance Forum (IGF) should be able to initiate ideas that the global IGF can benefit from and not vice versa.

“It is high time for Nigerians to start initiating local contents in terms of technology to boost the nation’s economy instead of spending more to buy ideas from other countries.

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