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NCC Hosts new Capacity Building for Journalists

NCC, Nigeria Telecoms watchdog,  assembled  a team of professionals from Digital Bridge Institute to educate and enlighten Technology Reporters on the latest trends in the global ICT industry

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IT News Nigeria:

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), under the leadership of the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Wednesday organized and hosted a Capacity Building Programme for members of Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) in Lagos.

Speaking during his opening remarks, Danbatta said it is Commission’s  tradition to ensure that our stakeholders and partners from the Media are well equipped with the knowledge and required skill-set to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.

The EVC, whose was ably represented by the Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said to aptly reflect the focus of the training, the theme which has been deliberately chosen is “Capacity Building for Telecom Reporters”.

He noted that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry in Nigeria is indeed the most dynamic, as it continues to evolve by the day. Advancements in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) have reshaped every facet of our human endeavour from how we learn, teach and communicate to advancements in medicine, transportation, space exploration and many more.

What did NCC EVC say?

According to him, the year 2020 started out on a very negative note with the outbreak of the novel Corona Virus Disease. The devastation and destruction caused by COVID-19 disease cannot be quantified, but I am happy that the necessary policies and programmes put in place by the Commission have repositioned Nigeria’s Telecoms industry and also provided support for other vital sectors.

“With the shutdown of almost every other sector of the economy since the outbreak, telecoms continue to provide government and businesses the platform to operate and transact in cyber space to ensure that our struggling economy is sustained.”

ncc New ITR danbatta
NCC EVC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta

The NCC Chief Executive applauds every member of NITRA for working assiduously to provide coverage for our activities, as well as provide a platform for our narratives in terms of the various policy initiatives and actions taken to support the national economy. Without your continuous cooperation, understanding and professionalism, the Nigerian audience would not have been properly informed about the activities of the NCC.

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“Today, we continue in our quest for an improved ICT industry in Nigeria by assembling a team of seasoned professionals at the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) Lagos to educate and enlighten you all on the latest trends in the global ICT industry.”

Danbatta recalled that, the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Ali Ibrahim Pantami, had a brief interactive session with the Press in Abuja on January 3, 2020 where he stated that the Nigerian government was fully in support of building capacity for our stakeholders.

“The Honourable Minister in his submission recognized the important role journalism has played in the development of Nigeria’s ICT industry and wants me to reassure you that the Federal Government will continue to provide an enabling environment for the ICT Sector to thrive.

This effort is consistent with one of the critical pillars of my strategic vision plan, which has to do with strategic partnership and collaboration and so, we view every member of NITRA as a very crucial stakeholder, hence this training.”

NCC and 5G

Speaking on the issue of 5G, He said a lot of falsehoods and misinformation have been peddled both on online and traditional media outlets about the health and safety implications of deploying 5G technology.

5G and NCC
NCC lead 5G trial in Nigeria November 2019

“The Nigerian Communications Commission just recently published the Draft Consultation Document on the Deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) Mobile Technology in Nigeria and I wish to use this medium to draw your attention to the fact that the Commission has not concluded plans for the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) network.”

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“Nigeria only undertook 5G trials in selected locations within the country in collaboration with an Operator in 2019. The trial, among others was to study and observe any health or security challenges the 5G network might present. The Commission also has an ongoing engagement with the academia while at the same time funding 5G related research projects, all in a bid to ensure the nation is provided with the best in terms of research findings and policy input to drive the implementation and deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria.”

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The Draft Consultation Document for deployment of the 5G technology in Nigeria has been produced and uploaded on the Commission’s official website (www.ncc.gov.ng). I invite you all to please take advantage of this document, peruse it and share it with your readers so they can be informed about the 5G technology.

“As I stated about a month ago in my speech during the NITRA Innovative Tech forum, a recent landmark economy study conducted by Qualcomm states that 5G will affect the global economy and drive growth exponentially. 5G’s full economic effect will likely be realized across the globe by 2035, supporting a wide range of industries and potentially enabling up to $13.2 trillion worth of goods and services. This impact will be much greater than the current 4G network.”

“5G when fully deployed will provide increased speed and bandwidth as well as provide deeper coverage to reach people in rural or challenging locations. In addition, 5G will provide strong security for the various sectors of government and private organizations. Due to its sheer scale and scope, the ITU predicts 5G will accelerate the achievements of all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) from affordable and clean energy to zero hunger. The misrepresentation of 5G technology has the potential of derailing the launch of this new technology in our clime.”

“Many Nigerians including citizens in more civilized countries were hooked on the notion that the introduction of 5G technology was the reason behind the spread of the novel COVID-19 Pandemic. This misconception was even made worse because those saddled with the responsibility of informing, educating and enlightening the average Nigerian telecom consumers were also bereft of the knowledge of this new technology and hitched a ride on the band wagon of doubters.”

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“This is the reason why training such as this is necessary for members of NITRA who have continued to cover the ICT industry in Nigeria. We will ensure that the NCC maintains this training periodically for our crucial stakeholders in the media to ensure that the information that reaches the average Nigerian is accurate and timely.””

It is our duty and responsibility to ensure that whatever we want to introduce to the Nigerian telecoms space is well understood by Nigerians and all those who make use of our telecoms services.

The onus is on all of us here today to make sure that we take this training seriously and take advantage of it to expand on our horizons. This is very necessary so that when we report events or activities relating to the industry, we are able to translate them into a language that the common man will readily understand.

In his response, Chairman, NITRA, Mr Chike Onwunegbuchi thanked the Commission for the timely and most needed training on the latest developments in the ICT  industry. He said the programme ensured that members are able to understand and explain technology terms in languages and at a level members of public understand.

NITRA is the umbrella body of all IT reporters in Nigeria and it is an affiliate of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ)

NCC said the Commission will continue to support capacity building and other initiatives which foster closer interaction and build stronger relationship with your members, and enjoin NITRA members to continue to be objective in your reportage to ensure that all our stakeholders benefit from the knowledge you will acquire during this meaningful training programme.

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