Welcome to the United Nations | Department of Economic and Social Affairs

CNB List of Contributions: none

Created On Monday, 26 October 2015 11:28

Contribution

  • Title
    none
  • First Name
    Nigeria IGF
  • Last Name
    Nigeria IGF
  • Professional Affiliation
    National IGF
  • Stakeholder Group
    Civil Society

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

  • How would you define the issue “Connecting the Next Billion”?
    Connecting the Next Billion is simply a challenge to all Internet stakeholders to engage in
    making Internet securely accessible and affordable to a new crowd of prospective users who
    are majorly dwellers in rural and remote areas in the world.
  • Have you observed any regional or national specificities regarding connectivity (e.g. Internet industry development)?
    Yes, there have been numerous measures spear-headed by the Federal and State Governments
    through their agencies and parastatals, to develop the Internet Industry in Nigeria.
  • Do you know of existing policy measures, and private sector or civil society initiatives addressing connectivity? If yes, was the policy a government policy, industry policy (either collective best practice or corporate policy), technical policy, or did i
    Yes, in Nigeria, there are some policies in place that address connectivity. Most of these policies
    are government policies, but they are as a result of collective contributions from various
    stakeholders, with the adoption of best practices. There have also been Internet access
    initiatives by private organisations, where institutions/organisations provide free or affordable
    Internet access to rural communities as part of their Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR).
    Some of the policies developed by the government are the Broadband Policy, ICT Policy and the
    Local Content Policy. These policies are implemented by various sectors and agencies.
    The Broadband Policy was a reaction to the International Telecommunication Unit (ITU) call for
    a national broadband policy in Nigeria. The goal of the Nigerian Government through this policy
    is to deliver a broadband speed of not less than 50% of the average speed available worldwide
    to consumers within five years. It is widely believed that for there to be an increased access to
    the Internet, there must be an improved broadband penetration.
    The Federal Ministry of Communication Technology developed a National ICT Policy to establish
    a comprehensive framework for the ICT sector in Nigeria that will encourage investments and
    also enable rapid expansion of ICT networks and services that are accessible and affordable to
    all.
    Apart from the policies set by the government, there have also been countless initiatives by
    agencies and organisations to improve access in Nigeria.
    The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has a number of initiatives,
    and they are as follows; Rural Information Technology Center (RITC), Campus Wide Area
    Network, Knowledge Access Venues (KAV), Community Access Centers (CAC) in Libraries, IT
    Infrastructure for Tertiary Institutions, to mention a few. Please visit their website to read more
    about these projects. (www.nitda.gov.ng)
    The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) under the Federal Ministry of Communication
    Technology, in line with the National Broad band plan has put in place new licensing regimes
    that will facilitate rollout of telecommunications infrastructure to hinterland. The Commission
    in collaboration with the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) also has some initiatives that
    enable this. The NCC has carried out numerous access projects, namely, State Accelerated
    Broadband Initiative (SABI), Wire Nigeria Project (WiN). Also, through the USPF, the NCC has
    carried out many Internet access/broadband improvement projects. Some of them are,
    Community Communications Center (CCC), Rural Broadband Internet (RUBI) Access,
    Accelerated Mobile Phone Expansion Project (AMPE), School Access Projects, etc. To read more
    about these projects, kindly visit their website www.ncc.gov.ng.
    Airtel Nigeria, a private company launched an initiative in 2014 called ‘Boost ICT Usage in Rural
    Areas’. This initiative was designed to help consumers living in or visiting the designated
    locations in underserved communities to have first-hand experience of the unequalled data
    services with no financial implications to the consumers.
    Other organisations like NIGCOMSAT, MTN Nigeria, etc., have also carried out some measures
    to improve Internet penetration in Nigeria.
  • In your opinion, what worked well in the development of the policy, and what impediments were encountered?
    In the development of all these policies, the major help has been the involvement of
    consultation from various key multi-stakeholders, thereby making the overall outcome
    acceptable by the public. There are various platforms through which stakeholders are involved;
    the Nigerian IGF has been a very solid platform, and many other platforms like the ‘e-Nigeria
    Conference’.
    Also, in the development of these policies and frameworks, attention has always been paid to
    regulatory and legal environment where these policies will be implemented, alongside other
    pertinent realities of the development made prior to evolvement of the new ones.
    One major obstruction was that of clash of interest, where more than one agency is seen to be
    implementing the set policies in the exact same way, and this brought about a view from some
    stakeholders to discontinue such initiative, being that it is a waste of resources and manpower.
  • What was the experience with implementation?
    The implementation of the policies was not altogether seamless, because, before the National
    ICT policy was developed, some states already had their ICT policies through which they had
    been managing their ICT sector, therefore making it very difficult for them to adopt the national
    policy. But so far, it has been agreed that for there to be a more coordinated manner in which
    the ICT sector is run, there has to be an input from the federal level.
    There were also issues of Right of way, which made implementation of some of these policies
    difficult. Also, during the implementation stage, it was discovered that some sectors of the
    nation’s economy and structure did not fully understand the mission of the Ministry of
    Communication Technology being that it is part of the country’s recent development. Which
    resulted in uncoordinated approach to the implementation of ICT developed policies. More
    challenges were experienced in the process for example, Double Taxation, Political
    Interference.
  • Did you experience any unintended consequences of policy developments/interventions, good and bad?
    The introduction of these policies has exposed the fact that there is lack of human capital with
    adequate skillset to help effective implementation and maintenance of the developing
    structures. Sufficient awareness must be provided to end users, to enable them utilize the ICT
    resources deployed in their environment.
    During deployment, it was discovered that most of the residents of the communities in which
    these infrastructures were being built, were not duly informed on the reasons why such
    equipment were placed in the community, thereby making it difficult for these people to place
    value on them, which further caused an early occurrence of damage and mismanagement of
    these equipment. Also, in Nigeria, there have been times when the Environmental bodies have
    had a discord with the Telecommunication industry, because of the assumption that these
    communication equipment being setup do not comply with the environmental standards.
    The access provided to the dwellers in these underserved communities have been used to carry
    out negative ventures by a few, nevertheless, we also acknowledge that these have also been
    the mediums through some have had their first form of access to a computer or mobile device
    to enable them use the internet.
    In some other cases, parts of our society are willing to make use of these services. The
    challenge is the attitude of our political leaders who for personal political interest tend to
    personalize these projects and used them as campaign tools. So the ordinary man is not made
    to believe that these projects are actual theirs. There is need for serious sensitization to create
    awareness
  • Can you think of unresolved issues where further multistakeholder cooperation is needed?
    Open Access and Infrastructure sharing: This can only be resolved by the strong involvement of
    multi-stakeholderism, where various regulators and bodies can share their already established
    infrastructure, which will serve as the backbone where most of the needed systems that will
    bring about greater Internet access can be implemented. For example, the power/energy sector
    must of a necessity, be on board with the ICT sector, because power is a primary backbone for
    Internet services and other ICTs. The Power can be leveraged on by using fiber optics for power
    to provide Internet services to underserved areas
    Duplication of responsibilities among various organs of the government need to be address.
    This situation is what leads to poor supervision and regulation.
    There are issues with respect to Multiple Taxation, Right of Way, Multiple Regulations. There
    are also issues with respect to emerging technologies/Media, understanding what service is
    licensable and what is not and proposing the relevant regulation to address this.
  • List proposed steps for further multistakeholder dialogue/actions.
    More concentration has to be placed on utilizing already established infrastructure by
    increasing the demand level for safe and secure access, affordability and local content in the
    already created Internet space. There are also the need for more content on government
    services online, monitoring and evaluation of ICT infrastructure and processes, protection
    against security and privacy concerns, as these and more are the agents against the rapid
    achievement of ‘50 million’ goal. It is highly recommended that private and public sectors
    should foresee the great importance of the internet and its many benefits, thereby find it very
    necessary to partner in Internet development schemes.
     As a result of this years’ multi-stakeholder Nigerian IGF, stakeholders proposed that a
    National Internet Economy Strategy and Internet Penetration Goal be formulated, to
    enable a more directed drive to achieving the national goal of connecting the next 50
    million and thereby contributing to the ultimate goal of the Global IGF.
     There is also a call for a multi-stakeholder approach in implementing the alreadyestablished
    Internet-related policy documents which are the ICT Policy, Broadband
    Policy and the Local Content Policy. Due to some cost related barriers to reaching the
    rural communities, the telecommunication regulators have been encouraged to provide
    more funding to enable provision of access to those underserved areas.
     Capacity Development should be strengthened in collaboration with the major
    stakeholders in both private and public sectors to enable people acquire relevant skill
    and competence that will enable increase in level of local content.
     More efforts are being made to bring the IGF closer to the people in rural areas to give
    them the opportunity to make relevant input into the Internet ecosystem.
     Extensive measures should be taken to provide Access and Infrastructure for people
    living with disability.
     Lowering of cost of access to the Internet, making it much more affordable to users.
     All sectors of the country’s economy should get involved in the multi-stakeholder
    process of the IGF.
     The NCC is currently developing an online stakeholder engagement platform that
    provides an avenue for comments, feedback on certain issues from interested persons,
    within or outside the country. It also provides access to a public space where online
    meetings, via whatever approved platform (WebEx, Adobe Connect etc.) are held.