The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) hosted the Swedish ambassador to ECOWAS, Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria, Carl Michael Grans, to discuss ways of enhancing ICT capacity development and broadband penetration in Nigeria recently.
Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, the executive vice chairman of the NCC, noted that the meeting was at the instance of the commission, based on its assessment of the offer for capacity development and focus of the Swedish Programme for ICT Development in Emerging Regions (SPIDER), a dedicated programme instituted to provide capacity-building in emerging markets.
Danbatta said that the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority had earlier trained some Nigerians. Thus, further collaboration to build the capabilities of Nigerians in ICT would increase human resources and capacity in the sector towards deepening broadband penetration.
The NCC boss stated that further capacity-building of Nigerians in ICT tools and skills would start with agencies in the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE) in a train-the-trainer arrangement, and the beneficiaries in the agencies would proceed to train other Nigerians.
Responding, Ambassador Carl Michael Grans said that “5G technology and Internet of Things (IoT) are crucial to transforming the industry and production in a way that can’t really be seen yet, but a digital revolution is really imminent worldwide.”
Grans acknowledged that Nigeria was ready for the digital revolution, considering the approval given to conduct 5G tests recently.
The EVC thanked the Swedish government for the capacity-building programmes and restated that one of the priorities of the Nigerian government was to facilitate the migration of millions of Nigerians out of poverty through ICT capacity development, skills impartation and effectively driving the digital economy processes.
“We hope that the embassy will continue to facilitate this kind of intervention to NCC and other agencies of government in Nigeria and Africa, and we also hope to benefit from the wealth of experience, especially of Sweden, being a leading broadband market,” Danbatta said.