The Multi-stakeholders Advisory Group (MAG) of the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF) has held special edition of NIGF 2018 in a two day events in Abuja.
MAG which comprising Federal Ministry of Communications (MoC), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), Internet Society Nigeria Chapter (ISOC), DigitalSENSE Africa Media among others top organisations and stakeholders had collaboratively supported NIGF 2018 which themed “Internet as Enabler for Good Governance’’.
The event which had the Honourable Minister of Communication, Barrister Abebayo Shittu as the Special Guest of Honour played host to various experts and professionals within ICT and Internet ecosystem across the country.
Speaking at the event, Mary Uduma, the MAG-NIGF Chairperson, while giving her opening remarks “objective of NIGF 2018 is to facilitate stakeholders’ intervention on the use of Internet for the enthronement of good governance for national economic recovery; stimulate the Internet community open participation in a regional and global Internet policy dialogue on emerging Internet issues; and engage stakeholders toward effective monitoring of the implementation of National Economic & Growth Plan and Sustainable Development Goals”
She added that the forum was aimed at informing the major Stakeholders with ideas, solutions and interventions relevant for addressing good governance in their various communities.
Erstwhile Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili was amongst keynote speakers who delivered an excellent paper on “Internet as an enabler of Accountability and Transparency”.
Ezekwesili stated that “Governance happens like a market. When the supply side (government) has more power than the demand side (citizens), monopoly
happens. Such scenario, after it exists for so long, needs disruption and that is what the Internet brings.”
She added that no matter the wealth and riches any man may have, if he lives in poorly governed society he is equally a poor man hence the need for effective platforms transparency and accountability which are the antidote for corrupt conducts anywhere in the world.
Hononrable Minister of Communication who also delivered a speech at the event while recounting several positive impacts his ministry has made stated that, Nigeria as a country currently has well over 103 milion internet users and ranked 10th globally.
He added that as part of the government’s efforts to bridge the digital gap between communities, government has established Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) which continues to help the unserved communities in Nigeria making access to internet for all Nigerians a realisable venture.
“Internet/Broadband Penetration in Nigeria has risen from 10% to 20% in the last two years he said.
Several panelist sessions were held at the event while the local multi-stakeholder positions, inputs and contributions were harmonised as way forward to be presented global Internet Governance forum later this year.