Mr Istifanus Musa, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications, says there is need for ideal policy framework to boost internet governance.
He made the call during the 2019 Nigeria DigitalSense forum on Internet Governance for Development (IG4d) and Nigeria IPv6 roundtable on Thursday in Lagos.
Represented by Olufemi Olufeko, the Director, e-Government in the ministry, Musa said that an ideal framework would provide for an enabling, rather than a restrictive environment to foster dynamic, efficient and flexible interconnection to networks.
According to him, the framework should encompass broad areas of expansion of infrastructure, skills development, and entrepreneurship.
He added that “the policy should open up governance structures around the internet to a multi-stakeholder approach (Public, Private, and Citizenry).
“The internet will only be fully adopted, and its benefits universally shared, when there is compelling locally made policy available.
“Furthermore, there is clear need to develop human capacity and open up governance structure around the internet to a multi-stakeholder approach.
“Ministry of Communications is focused on lifting the lives of Nigerians through provision of affordable ICT solutions and promulgation of enabling policies to help ICT industry to grow.”
Musa said that the internet and other technological advancements were presently modifying the way people all over the world lived, which in turn contributed to the world economy, changing at an unprecedented pace.
He said that this change was being used by countries to drive rapid economic development.
According to him, the success of the internet depends on reliable, efficient and cost-effective interconnections among networks.
He said “access to ICT tools will enable and accelerate development in key areas of life, therefore internet should be for everyone, everywhere.
“There is need for ideal policy framework which provides for an enabling, rather than a restrictive environment, to foster dynamic, efficient and flexible interconnection to networks.
“The policy principles should focus on expansion and investment in both access (network) infrastructure and content infrastructure.
“It should promote transparent and affordable licensing procedures, fair price on ”Right of Way”, and flexible technology upgrade.
“It should also ensure policies are technology neutral and flexible enough to encourage new ways of delivering access.”
The permanent secretary said that the policy should seek the introduction of IT engineering in school curriculum, establishment of innovation hubs and facilitate local innovation and entrepreneurship.
He said that supportive government policy should focus on improving governance principles and rules that would promote widespread availability and online usage.
He noted that the policy should promote a collaborative security approach to increase broad trust in the internet.
According to him, there should be data protection laws to ensure privacy for sensitive data that underpin new financial, health and other services using personal data.
Representative of the organiser of the forum, Nkem Nweke, said that the event was created 10 years ago for Nigerian internet stakeholders to raise and address germane issues concerning the ICT sector.
Nweke, who is the Executive Director, DigitalSense African Media, said that the programme focused on computing and internet governance-related issues such as access, security, openness, and privacy.
She said that the forum was aimed at advancing Nigeria in the ever-rapidly advancing phenomenon of global ICT.
She added that building an inclusive digital economy and society required the development of human and institutional capacity.
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