The stakeholders in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have restated the value of the Fifth Generation (5G) services, especially on the positive use of the internet to ease connectivity.
They also noted that 5G technology has enhanced capabilities that will provide superior communications services for the socio-economic development of Nigeria and facilitate attainment of a national digital economy.
Speakers at the 2023 Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum (NDSF) on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D) with the theme “5G Data Governance, Safety and Security in Nigeria,” organised by ITRealms Media Group, made these assertions.
Leading expert speakers at the forum in his keynote, the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta said that data is critical to the digital economy, and assured that NCC is building robust legal frameworks for data governance.
“As we embrace the transformative potential of 5G, we must also prioritize safety concerns,” he asserted.
Danbatta, who was represented by the Head of New Media, NCC, Dr. Chidi Diugwu, said that the amount and speed of data generated using 5G technology is unprecedented and beckoned on citizens to embrace it and use it to the fullest.
As such, he pointed out the need to always prioritize consumer privacy, transparency and ethical data use. Maintaining that by cultivating trust and handling data responsibly, would unlock the full potentials of 5G technology and promote innovation in Nigeria.
“To ensure the security and protection of networks and consumers, the Nigerian Communications Act mandates its licensees to prevent their network facilities or services from being used in, or in relation to, the commission of any offence under any law in operation in Nigeria. In this regard, licensees are required to assist the Commission and other Law Enforcement Agencies in preventing crime in Nigeria,” he said.
The chairman of 2023 Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum (NDSF) and President, Computer Society of Nigeria (NCS), Prof. Simon Adesina Sodiya, said the internet is a global connection of networks, that provides opportunity for people to share information in order to connect to one another.
Also, Sodiya said, the internet is like an open space, which any body could use for communication, connection, sharing resources, hence most organisations, individuals are connected to internet.
On the internet, Sodiya explained that the importance of data security and governance cannot be over emphasized, thus the essence to come up with guidelines, procedures, rules, for realistic usage of internet.
“It will not be done by government alone, it is multi-stakeholders efforts, which include government agencies, civil society organisations, individuals, and ICT professionals among others,” Sodiya said.
The chairman of 2023 NDSF equally noted that internet governance is very important because there are lots of criminal activities going on in the internet, however people who fall victims are not aware of these cyber criminals.
“Apart from criminal activities, we should not forget that our children are in schools and have been given opportunity to use internet. They should use it for something meaningful that will develop their life positively and not negative aspects. For instance, I have seen a father who said he found his 12-year old child watching porn videos,” he said.
What government needed to do, according to Prof Sodiya is to educate parents on how to provide use of internet for their children. Advising that parents should block some aspects of internet that might endanger the life of their children.
The Business Development Executive, Wizzhub Technology Limited, Mr. Uzor Francis, said he educated participants on benefits of 5G, such as speed carrying capacity, how much integral benefits and inter-connectivity of the devices that internet offers, as 5G enables most of these things.
About challenges of 5G, especially on security, Uzor said that will require enlightened participants on some of the measures, urging Nigerians to mitigate the challenges they may face while using 5G mobile services.
“It is important that 5G goes round not only to the cities but also in the villages so that everybody has access to it, to enhance connectivity for communications through the internet,” he said.
Uzor decried some myths and misconceptions about 5G that it causes virus such as COVID-19, pandemic, which is not true, therefore Nigerians should adopt it because 5G is fast and safe.
The Principal Consultant, CyberCode Limited, Mr. Olatunji Igbalajobi, in his contribution said 5G technology has come to stay in Nigeria to enhance internet connectivity and encourage development.
Nigeria, as a country, he said, needs to get it right in terms of data governance, and urged government at all levels to act fast to ensure relevant structures are in place to ensure data governance and safety.
Earlier while welcoming participants, the Lead Consulting Strategist at DigitalSENSE Africa and Group Executive Editor, ITREALMS Media Group, Mr. Remmy Nweke, noted that 5G mobile network is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G respectively.
Nweke highlighted that 5G enables a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects and devices.
5G wireless technology, Nweke said is meant to deliver higher multi-Giga bits per second (Gbps), peak data speeds, ultra-low latency, more users, higher performance and improved efficiency thereby empowering new user experiences and connecting new industries.
He recalled that DigitalSENSE Africa is a certified At-Large Structure (ALS) by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and powered by ITREALMS Media group, while NDSF was hosted in collaboration with the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) among stakeholders in the country.
Nweke commended NCC, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), FirstBank, Nigeria LNG Limited, WizzHub Technologies, D|NS Women Nigeria and a host of other stakeholders for partnering with this 14th edition of NDSF series.
Further, he applauded the speakers faculty for the 2023 NDSF including the President, Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), Ms Maureen Chigbo; Executive Director, Domain Name System Women (DNS Women Nigeria), Mrs Nkem Nweke and Ms Tinuade Oguntuyi of Internet Society (ISOC Nigeria) and assured that next edition will be an exciting session.