Communications Ministry Seeks Policy To Improve Internet Governance, Access

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The Ministry of Communications has said that a robust policy framework is needed to guarantee Internet governance and deepen access in Nigeria.

According to the ministry, while the success of the Internet depends on reliable, efficient and cost-effective interconnections among networks, the Internet will only be fully adopted, and its benefits universally shared.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications, Istifanus Musa, stated this in Lagos at the weekend during the 2019 Nigeria DigitalSense Forum on Internet Governance for Development (IG4d) and Nigeria IPv6 roundtable. Musa, represented by Olufemi Olufeko, the Director, e-Government in the ministry, noted that the Federal Government is doing everything possible to ensure more people get access to the Internet.

He said that apart from the private sector investments that had gone into fibre expansion in the country, the Federal Government would deploy 18,000 kilometres of fibre to boost rural broadband areas in Nigeria, adding that government has also approved $328 million loan to complete national backbone project

According to him, an ideal framework would provide for an enabling, rather than a restrictive environment to foster dynamic, efficient and flexible interconnection to networks. The framework, he said, should encompass broad areas of expansion of infrastructure, skills development, and entrepreneurship.

Speaking on behalf of the organisers of the forum, Executive Director, DigitalSense African Media, Nkem Nweke, said the event was created 10 years ago for Nigerian Internet stakeholders to converge yearly to raise and address germane issues concerning the ICT sector.

She said building an inclusive digital economy and society requires the development of human and institutional capacity.‘’The policy should open up governance structures around the Internet to a multi-stakeholder approach (Public, Private, and Citizenry),’’ he said.