The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta has reiterated the Commission’s commitment to support and deepen innovation ecosystem.
He made the remark at the third edition of the annual ICT Innovation Competition and Exhibition, organized by the Research and Development Department of the Commission.
Professor Danbatta who was represented by the Executive Commissioner Technical Services in NCC, Mr Ubale Maska, said this year’s ICT Innovation Competition and Exhibition theme “Utilizing Indigenous Digital Solutions to Bridge the Digital Divide was apt.
He explained that the digital divide which refered to the gap between those who have access and are able to use digital technologies and those who do not and these gaps exist between countries and within countries and has significant consequences on social and economic development hence the need to Bridge this divide to achieve sustainable economic development and social advancement, as well as for achieving the goals of the Federal Government’s Digital Nigeria Agenda.
Professor Danbatta reminded the participants that the ICT sector has the potential to play a significant role in bridging the digital divide and driving economic development in the country and the competition is more than just showcasing innovative ideas and tech solutions. It is also about supporting the growth and development of digital start-ups in Nigeria.
He explained that this could only be possible by providing access to digital technologies and services, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, and creating Jobs. However, to fully realize this potential, there is need to ensure that the ICT sector is able to grow and develop in a sustainable way, and that it is able to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the digital economy.
He said the ICT Innovation Competition and Exhibition is in line with the Nigeria’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, specifically pillars 5, 7, and 8, which focus on digital service development and promotion, digital society and emerging technologies, and indigenous content development and adoption, respectively.
“”That is where this competition comes in. It provides a platform for tech enthusiasts and other stakeholders with novel ideas and tech solutions to industry and societal challenges to showcase their creative innovations and forge collaborative partnerships that can stimulate productivity, sustainability, and continuous growth in the ICT sector”.
Professor Danbatta added that this year’s competition will focus on three key areas: Digital service development and promotion;, Indigenous content development and adoption, and Funding digital skills building and innovation in Nigeria.
The EVC explained that these areas were chosen because they are critical for developing indigenous businesses into world-class service providers and creating conditions for iterative problem solving by indigenous digital technology and innovation service providers.
The NCC boss encouraged all participants in this year’s competition to take full advantage of this opportunity to showcase their innovative ideas and tech solutions, and to make the most of the networking and collaboration opportunities that this event provides.
“I am confident that this year’s competition will be a great success, and I look forward to seeing all the amazing ideas and solutions that are showcased here today”.
The three-day competition attracted top management staff of the NCC; including Prof. Mohammed Ajiya, the President/CEO of Digital Bridge Institute who doubled as the Chairman, Panel of Judges; Dr. Abdullateef Bello, CEO Datstrat Consulting Limited, Chris Uwaje, Founder, Mobile Software Solutions Limited; Martha Alade, the founder of Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN), and others.
High point of the event was a tour of the exhibition stands.