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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

CommTech to hold forum on draft ICT Policy in Lagos

The Ministry of Communication Technology has advanced plans to hold its forum on the draft ICT policy on Friday, March 9, at the Lagos City Hall.

A press statement made available to ITRealms Online by the Special Adviser Media and Publicity to the Ministry, Mrs. Efem Nkanga, noted that the Draft ICT Policy was released by the Ministry for comments and suggestions from stakeholders and the general public on January 9 this year.

She also said the Ministry since unveiling of the policy document has received suggestions, comments and inputs from industry groups, companies in the ICT industry and other ICT industry stakeholders both in Nigeria and abroad that have been collated and the forum would provide a veritable platform for the Ministry to engage stakeholders for robust discussions on the suggestions and comments received by the Ministry on the policy.

According to her, the Ministry had a few weeks ago met with industry groups like the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN), Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) and National Association of Telecommunication Subscribers (NATCOMS); who had sent in their inputs on the draft ICT policy to discuss the comments and suggestions on the policy sent to the Ministry.

The Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, was quoted in the press statement as having had an interactive session recently.

"We have had various policies covering the IT and the Communications industry but the convergence of technologies and the industry have dictated the need for an integrated policy document,” she said, adding that a committee was set up by the Ministry to harmonise all the existing policies, reflecting new realities where necessary in order to provide a working document and a take off point that could elicit robust debate and discussion by stakeholders.

Mrs. Johnson further described the policy document as a statement of intent, stressing that once there was an agreement on the statement of intent, a country ICT masterplan would be developed including an implementation plan with detailed activities, timelines, milestones and funding requirements and options.

Additionally, Mrs. Nkanga recalled that the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, had on the 25th of August 2011, set up an Adhoc Committee to harmonize all the various policies for the different sectors in the ICT industry (Telecommunications, Broadcasting, Information Technology and Postal Services).

The policy, she underscored, when completed would be the overarching guide and platform for the overall development of the ICT industry and will facilitate the creation of a digital, knowledge based economy.

Remmy Nweke

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