Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Tuesday described the growth of the internet as enormous with the number of users reaching 103 million in May.
Danbatta, who was represented by Mr Haru Alhassan, the Director, New Media and Information Security of NCC, said this in Abuja at the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF) 2018.
The forum’s theme is: “Internet: An Enabler for Good Governance’’.
He said that this was an impressive growth from 28 million internet users recorded in 2012.
“This evolution shows the importance of harnessing the benefit of internet for good governance.
“This figure of the internet subscribers’ data highlights the importance and the value of internet,’’ he said
Danbatta said that the commission would also license three additional Infrastructure Company (INFRACOs), bringing the number to seven to boost broadband penetration in the country.
He said the three INFRACOs were awaiting approval as the commission had earlier licensed two infrastructure companies earlier in the year to lay the foundation for internet penetration and increased broadband services.
The two INFRACOs are Zinox Technology Ltd. for Southeast and Brinks Integrated Solutions Ltd. for Northeast.
“The licenses are based on NCC open licensed model which is in line with the National Broadband plan 2013 to 2018,’’ he said.
Over a year ago, Mainone Cable company had been licensed to provide services in Lagos, while HIS got its license to cover the North Central Geopolitical Zone including Abuja.
“This event is very important in bringing various stakeholders to discuss issues of internet governance, ‘’ Danbatta said.
Prof. Muhammad Mainnima, the Vice Chancellor of Nasarawa State University Keffi said the theme of forum was apt and worthy of participation as Nigeria was approaching the 2019 general elections.
Mainnima, represented by Prof. Grace Pennap, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the university said Information Communication Technology (ICT) would have significant role to play in the elections.
“While we agree that internet can promote good governance, it is important to think of how to make Nigeria cyberspace safe and secured.
“Therefore, it is my sincere hope that this year’s conference will add value positively to the narratives of good governance powered by the internet,’’ he said.
Earlier, Mrs Mary Uduma, the Chair, NIGF Multi-Stakeholders Advisory Group said NIGF was the local initiative of the UN Internet Governance that was agreed on by the world in 2005.
According to Uduma, NGIF is a stakeholders platform that discuss public policy issues pertaining to internet such as internet security, good governance.
“We have brought internet experts to dissect this along the line of global discussion in areas of access inclusiveness and diversity, cyber security and trust.