Wednesday, April 15, 2009
2011: Nigeria needs ICT savvy leaders – Omo-Ettu
Ahead of the 2011 general elections, telecommunications expert and chief executive, The Executive Schuul (TEC), Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, has advocated that Nigerians should look out for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) savvy politicians as a way toward transforming the nation into an ICT- driven society.
Speaking at the annual lecture of the Titans of Tech, on the theme, “Realizing the potentials of a converged economy” held at the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) Centre, Onikan-Lagos, last weekend, Mr. Omo-Ettu said that for the nation to sustain the tempo of its ICT development, there is need to forecast into the future.
The gains of ICT, he said, have increasingly become obvious to the common man and rural dwellers in the country, thus making it imperative that the populace would channel their choice of candidature for political positions with caveat emptor - a condition.
This entails that Nigerians should look carefully and individually consider the ICT inclination of the candidates before casting of their votes.
“And we consider that 2011 should be a turning point when we should subtly canvass that those who will rule us must be ICT savvy,” he said.
Stressing that the only available tool towards achieving this ‘mission’ is to amplify the progress so far recorded in the industry.
He also invited industry players to unite in making this mission a reality, basically because a lot of emerging technologies are being turned out almost on daily basis.
Dwelling on “Setting the stage for the Converged Economy” Omo-Ettu said that the onus is on Nigerians to hold the leaders, especially the political class accountable.
“All of us need to make our rulers truly accountable by making the use of ICT in governance as a campaign issue in 2011,” he maintained.
He cautioned however, that though most Nigerians may not know those who will rule over them, “but we must know those who must not rule over us.”
Omo-Ettu advised NCC to conduct a high level study into what extent investment into broadband technologies has reached in the country, stressing that there is need to continue on the existing initiatives and attitude on Broadband provisions.
The government, he said, should restructure the ICT industry by recognizing that convergence and its match into the current system is unstoppable
Equally, he called for a review of the education curriculum in a manner that a school leaver must be immediately relevant to the industry when he or she comes into it.
He further said that there is need to say who does what and encourage same based on best practices, describing Nigeria version of convergence based on telecommunications, as “bundling of services by telecoms players, both in terms of the product portfolio they offer and of the channels through which their products are sold and serviced.”
He likened converged economy to a period when a man may decide to buy a motor car and does so without much ado.
Underlining the fact that in a typical scenario of a converged economy and the motor car; the man finds inside “a TV screen, an electronic keyboard with commissioned access to broadband internet complete with an appointed service provider and an airtime that lasts 12 months.”
He emphasized that what is required to do all these is Broadband Internet Access, advising that courting and embracing emerging as well as major convergent technologies, will pave the way to achieving this goal, especially through the deployment of Internet Protocol (IP), Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB), Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi), Worldwide Inter-operability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) and Long Term Evolution (LTE) technologies to name a few.
Omo-Ettu proffered solutions on how to make this dream realizable, which comprised the restructuring of the current markets until an ICT industry emerges, recognize that convergence is certain and that its advantages are for those who recognize its worth.
Just as he called for more support for the broadband investment and important move of the emerging industry from the growth objective to the developmental aspect, while reviewing the human capacity development processes of the country with the view to restructure the industry, by way of managing the industry based on distinctive structures.
“There is need to manage the industry based on technology development, and technology application,” he asserted, in addition to recognizing the fact that convergence is real and is capable of helping services of telecommunications, broadcasting, media and entertainment to certainly converge, even as it could be bundled as a service.
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