Technology has made our lives easier, faster, better, and more exciting, but it has wrought a devastating effect on our national and traditional ethos.
This was revealed by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta during his goodwill message at the Quarterly Public Lecture of the National Institute or Cultural Orientation (NICO) held on Thursday, March 25, 2021 in Abuja.
He was represented by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Mrs. Grace Ojougboh
He reiterated that the emergence of the so called ‘digital natives’ or ‘ Millennial’ presuppose a generation that is fast losing touch with time honours traditional and cultural values which are the very essence of the Nation’s identity as a people.
“The convergence of information technology and communications technology with the attendant pervasive wholesome adoption that straddles virtually all facets of social, economic and cultural life underscore the fact that this is a major source of Africa’s contemporary development crises.
“World civilisation and culture have been greatly impacted by the advancement in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and telecommunications to the extent that the way we socialize, carry out businesses, engage in learning and participate in other life endeavours have changed in unprecedented ways, Danbatta said.
“Indeed, the world is witnessing greater advancement in ICT with next-gen technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, Fifth Generation Network (5G), Internet of Things (IoT), Virtual Realities (VR), Blockchain and Big data, among others. These newest technologies are fast evolving to redefine our socio-cultural orientation in the 4th Industrial Revolution of the 21st Century.
He said, “As the independent national regulatory authority for the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, the NCC has, over the years, been creating an enabling environment for competition among operators in the industry as well as ensuring the provision of qualitative and efficient telecommunications services throughout the country for rapid and orderly socio-economic development.
The Commission has been driving broadband penetration and access to next-gen technologies that impact life.
He emphasized that the Commission has not relent advocating responsible use of the technologies, especially the Internet in a way that helps to address the Nation’s socio-economic, cultural and national security challenges.
“Aside driving ubiquitous access to telecoms services, NCC takes it upon itself to constantly educate consumers of telecoms services on responsible use of our ICT resources for promoting development and engendering national unity.
“This resonates with the Institute’s primary responsibility of harnessing our cultural resources to meet the challenges of social integration, peace, unity and national development.
“The NCC recognizes the power of telecommunications in leapfrogging our national development in these important respects. This is the reason the Commission accords priority to strategic objectives in its regulatory mandate.
“In line with the above , NCC ensures proper registration of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards while also ensuring the ongoing implementation of the Ministerial Directive on the linkage of SIM and National Identity Number (NIN) data in order to ensure credible citizens’ database.
“This, the Federal Government believes will enhance efforts at curbing criminal activities such as terrorism, banditry, kidnapping while boosting confidence in economic transactions.
Danbatta said that during the lockdowns and other disruptions occasioned by COVID-19, Nigerians witnessed, first hand, the potential positive impact of telecommunications and ICTs across all the key sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“According to a recent report by the Federal National Bureau of Statistics, telecoms sectors’ positive contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Quarter 4 of 2020 is one of the reasons Nigeria was able to marginally exit from recession.
He said that what is left for Nigeria is to ensure the Nation leverage technology functionally to promote the economy and address other critical development challenges.
He concluded by reiterating the commitment of the Board and Management of NCC in ensuring Strategic Collaboration and Partnership with relevant agencies and stakeholders for a sustainable national development that guarantees economic prosperity for all citizens while preserving our fundamental social and cultural values.