How Ericsson-Sweden Partnership Will Transform Nigeria’s ICT Sector

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L-R: Country Manager and Managing Director, LM Ericsson Nigeria Limited, Peter Ogundele; Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta; Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria-Ghana and Cameroon, Annika Hahn; Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, Ubale Maska and Director, Special Duties, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde at the workshop engagement for regulators in the West African region organized by Ericsson and Swedish Programme for ICT in Developing and Emerging Regions (SPIDER) at the NCC’s Annex Office, Mbora, Abuja.

 

The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has expressed profound appreciation for the unwavering commitment and steadfast partnership exhibited by the Swedish Government and Ericsson. Their collaboration in capacity building has significantly bolstered the NCC’s regulatory capabilities, marking a remarkable journey of progress and innovation.

Speaking at a collaborative workshop jointly organized by the NCC and their Swedish counterparts as part of the Swedish Programme for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Developing and Emerging Regions (SPIDER), Danbatta underscored the substantial advancements achieved by the NCC in the realm of ICT.

“This workshop serves as a testament to the pivotal role the Nigerian Communications Commission, as a regulatory authority, has been playing within the West African sub-region. It underscores our enduring dedication to keeping pace with the ever-evolving dynamics of the telecommunications sector,” remarked Danbatta.

The NCC’s Chief Executive reiterated the deep-rooted commitment of the Swedish Government and SPIDER to the cause of ICT development in emerging regions. He acknowledged their pivotal roles in enhancing access to healthcare, education, income generation, and employment opportunities in West Africa, thereby contributing significantly to poverty reduction.

 

“Through the periodic strategic engagements facilitated by SPIDER, we have grown into a more effective regulator, thus furthering our contribution to the development of the telecommunications sector. This contribution will, in turn, foster the creation of an ecosystem beneficial to the economies and people of the region,” the EVC affirmed.

In her address, the Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroun, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mrs. Annika Hahn, emphasized the critical importance of ICT regulation and capacity building as catalysts for economic development and social progress.

 

 

The ambassador commended the NCC for hosting this significant event, highlighting its role in fostering collaboration between the two nations. She also acknowledged Sweden’s remarkable contribution to the ICT sector, being the birthplace of Ericsson, one of the world’s oldest and largest ICT companies, with a rich history in the industry.

Furthermore, Ambassador Hahn stressed the global technological revolution and its potential to drive industrial and economic development. She emphasized the need for modern and adaptable regulation to navigate this swiftly-evolving landscape.

Hahn asserted, “To thrive in this new and rapidly-developing environment, we must regulate in a modern and adaptable manner. Therefore, human capacity building in ICT regulation is imperative for all of us.”

The diplomat noted that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of ICT worldwide, leading to a surge in Internet users as the shift profoundly impacted various sectors, including education, commerce, and financial services. She also highlighted the significant role played by e-learning platforms in this transformative process.

Expanding on the subject, Ambassador Hahn referenced Ericsson’s report, indicating that there were more than 900 million registered mobile subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2022, with a substantial portion in Nigeria.

In propelling growth and contributing to the ambitious goal of surpassing a billion mobile subscriptions by the end of 2023 in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Swedish ambassador stressed the essential role of education in regulatory development strategies and policies. She emphasized the need for collaboration in knowledge-sharing and up-skilling of human resources among all stakeholders.


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