From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja

Nigeria is now ranked 11th in internet penetration and 7th in mobile phone usage globally.

Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of a two-day Emerging Technology Forum for the Telecommunications Industry, themed “Contextualising the Network Readiness Index (NRI) for the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry,”

Represented by Abraham Oshadami, Head, Spectrum Database Management, NCC, Danbatta stated that data gathered globally by the NRI team showed that digital transformation is necessary to maximise the social and economic effects of the digital era.

According to him, the NIR looked at how 131 economies performed in the areas of technology (infrastructure), governance, people, and impact.

He said: “Nigeria is a telecommunications powerhouse, with 82 per cent of the continent’s telecom subscribers and 29 per cent of the continent’s internet consumption. “Our nation rates eleventh globally in terms of internet penetration and seventh in terms of mobile phone usage.

“The global data collected by the NRI team reveals that digital transformation is a global imperative in order to maximise the social and economic effects of the digital era. Despite these remarkable metrics, the fact that our Network Readiness Index (NRI) ranking for 2022 is 109th out of 131 countries is both humbling and challenging.”

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Danbatta noted  that, as agents of social and economic transformation in the nation, prioritising network readiness was not only a strategic necessity but a mandate.

He said: “It can create new inequalities, which can hinder the ability of younger generations to engage in the digital economy, but it also remains a powerful way to do more with less at all levels of income.

“Formal education is evolving, and metrics are important to support informed policymaking. This requires reskilling and upskilling opportunities to be available, accessible, and affordable in order to have more inclusive and sustainable economies and societies.

“The NRI is a guiding metric that measures the role and impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). To navigate this era of transformation, we must embrace innovation, make strategic investments, and cultivate a growth-friendly ecosystem.”

He urged all parties involved to take advantage of the chance to learn more about developing technologies, consider potential uses for them, and figure out how to use them to address particular problems.

“This platform is our gateway to innovative and disruptive solutions that can positively transform our industry. By engaging in conversations about new technologies, collaborating with global best practices and subject-matter experts, and pooling our insights, we open the door to unimaginable future possibilities,” Danbatta said.