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AfricaNXT confab goal aligns with vision of technology-driven prosperity for continent: NCC

*Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission, assures stakeholders of the Commission’s continued support and participation in the annual conference holding in Lagos

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reiterated its faith in the vision of the AfricaNEXT Conference (AfricaNXT) to “co-create a prosperous future for all Africans” through collaborations, conversations and programming that are oriented in harvesting, harnessing and leveraging innovative technologies.

ConsumerConnect reports the telecoms sector regulator said: “The visualisations and concrete actions of the AfricaNXT conference are in congruence with NCC’s faith in the promise of technology to galvanise Nigeria’s nay Africa’s development.

“This explains our continued support and participation in the Conference, which is now in its 10th Year, and we will continue to play active roles in this event, which takes place in Lagos annually.”

READ ALSO 5G Tech: Updated AOL, Spectrum Pricing Regulations To Boost Telecoms Market, Enhance Competition ─NCC

The Commission stated Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, said this with unmistakable conviction during a recent chat with the Commission’s in-house media team ahead of preparations by the Commission’s delegation to the conference holding from 27th February to 4th March, 2022, in Lagos.

Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, noted Prof. Danbatta, however, regretted his inability to lead NCC’s delegation to the conference because he is already slated to play a key governmental and institutional role at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022, organised by GSM Association.

The Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest and most influential forum and exhibition by stakeholders in the mobile technology ecosystem, takes place in Barcelona, in Spain,  annually in the same week AfricaNXT happens in Lagos.

According to the NCC, the AfricaNXT Conference, formerly known as Social Media Week Lagos, is the largest assemblage of innovators from across Africa and Africa’s Diasporan communities.

READ ALSO: 5G Networks Safe, Beneficial For Socio-Economic Transformation ─NCC

The Commission also stated: “As a consistent programming partner of AfricaNXT, the NCC has been a regular feature of the conference and festival.

“Although the COVID-19 pandemic compelled the organisers to observe a low-key, strictly virtual conference in 2021, the 2020 conference was attended by over 20,000 people (both in-person and virtually).

“At the 2020 conference, NCC’s discourse overviewed the Fifth Generation technology and services, where the panelists explained 5G, which at that time, seemed like an abstract idea to many.”

At the AfricaNXT 2022, the NCC will take the discourse on 5G technology further in a more pragmatic context in view of the progress achieved over the past two years.

READ ALSO 5G Networks: NCC Announces MTN, Mafab Communications Winners Of 2 Slots In 3.5GHz Spectrum Auction

Dr. Adinde further said the thematic focus for the conference panel of discussants is, “Moving Forward Steadily, Timely And With Precision: The Socio-Economic Significance Of Deployment Of 5G Services”.

Participants will have the opportunity to glean the benefits of 5G services to individuals, businesses, and the country, with positive implications for the continent as Nigeria marches steadily to become the first country in West Africa to deploy 5G technology services, the NCC noted.

Nigeria’s journey to deployment of 5G network services

The Commission recalled that the journey to the birth of 5G services in Nigeria started in 2019.

The NCC said: “Between then and now, the Nigerian Communications Commission has been upbeat in rallying stakeholders to forge all necessary partnerships, collaborations and alliances.

RELATED: How Nigeria Approves National Policy On 5G Networks For Digital Economy ─Minister

“There have been numerous stakeholders’ consultations (including an all-inclusive, robust public hearing at the National Assembly; and a presentation to the Federal Executive Council).”

According to the telecoms regulator, the NCC also instituted a communications campaign, pivoted on public information and education, especially in the vortex of misconceptions, misinformation, disinformation and malinformation about 5G.

Following the approval by the Federal Government, a Proof of Concept trials demonstrating the possibilities of 5G took place in some cities in Nigeria, it said.

The NCC, in collaboration with stakeholders, equally developed an Information Memorandum, which was reviewed by all stakeholders, following which a policy on 5G was instituted by the Federal Government.

RELATED: 5G Deployment In Nigeria Is In Line With Global Innovation Curve ─Buhari

The policy was unveiled to the public by President Muhammadu Buhari on 25 January 2022.

Armed with an extant approval, the NCC also, had earlier conducted a globally-acclaimed auction of the 3.5GHz spectrum December 13, 2021.

The NCC disclosed that the spectrum is to be used to deploy 5G services, and the bid was won by two communications companies and licensees of the NCC ─ Mafab Communications and MTN Nigeria.

‘Coast is clear’ for deployment of 5G networks in Nigeria ─Danbatta

Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, last week, officially handed to NCC the spectrum for 5G services for allocation to the winners of the bid, said the Commission.

READ ALSO: Danbatta Urges Nigerian Youths To Utilise ICT For Future Living, Leadership

The telecoms regulator further stated that at the handover ceremony, which took place February 17, 2022, at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, FCT, Prof. Danbatta puts the status of implementation of 5G services metaphorically and figuratively, when he said: “The coast is now clear” for the launch of 5G services in Nigeria.

The Commission said: “Therefore, having fulfilled every condition precedent to the deployment of 5G services in Nigeria, the NCC, tried-and-true, and in demonstration of commitment to its noted operational efficiency and regulatory effectiveness, is not resting on its oars in public education and information sharing.

“It is the reason the Commission is leveraging AfricaNXT, a rare, seminal, and historic assemblage of practical innovators and enthusiasts of technology and development, to deepen knowledge about 5G among its ever-widening geography of stakeholders.”

It also noted the NCC discourse at the AfricaNXT 2022 holds at the FutureNow Stage, Innovation Pavilion, Landmark Event Centre, Water Corporation Drive, Off Ligali Ayorinde Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The session will start at 2.00p.m. prompt Thursday, March 3, 2022, the Commission stated.

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