NIGF 2019: NCC Gives Reasons For The Establishment Of Internet Industry Code Of Practice
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By Rommy IMAH
The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC has said that the establishment of the Internet Industry Code of Practice was aimed at encouraging good Internet usage in the country, as it was envisaged to spell out the minimum acceptable behaviour relating to the use of Internet.
Speaking at the 8th edition of the Nigerian Internet Governance Forum (NIGF) held in Lagos Thursday, Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta said the behavioural requirement encompasses promoting the rights and interests of Internet Service Providers and consumers, outlining the obligations of service providers in relation to offensive and potentially harmful content for minors and vulnerable audiences amongst other things.
Represented by Engr. Chidi Diugwu, Head, New Technology and Assessment at NCC’s New Media and Information Security Department, Prof. Danbatta said the overarching aim was to become part of the Digital Commonwealth which defines the collective responsibility in the digital age.
“This requires forging a common direction towards a sustainable Internet governance. The commonwealth agenda is aptly reflected in the uniqueness of this year’s forum which creates both Internet Governance Fellow and youths for Internet Governance Forum. I therefore urge all of us here to participate actively towards promoting Digital Commonwealth,” he said.
Danbatta noted that the Internet is one of the most important and critical resources of this age, with the potential for both good and bad transactions, explaining why the Internet Governance Forum was established in July 2006 for policy dialogue on issues and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.
According to him, “To achieve an efficient and effective identification of potential challenges, implementation of policies and functional stakeholder engagement, there was a need to domesticate the activities and benefits of the Global Internet Governance Forum (GIGF). This is carried out through both the regional African Internet Governance Forum (AfIGF) and the sub-regional West African Internet Governance Forum (WAIGF).”
The desire to integrate local participation, the EVC said, gave rise to the Nigerian Internet Governance Forum (NIGF), a platform that has been dealing with the challenges and policy issues as it relates to the local Internet users in Nigeria which stood at over 122 million as at May, 2019.
Danbatta who recalled that at the same forum in 2018, he mentioned some of the major interventionist steps being taken by the Commission such as the licencing of infrastructures (Infracos), designed to increase Internet usage expressed delight that at the end of December 2018, stakeholders in the industry collectively achieved more than 30% broadband penetration.
“We are delighted at this achievement even though we are now facing corresponding challenges in the sense that there is a lot of impact at all levels of Internet Governance, namely: NIGF, WAIGF, AfIGF, and Global IGF. For us as a responsive regulator we must not only be professionally dealing with the ensuing challenges but also must be seen to be contributing to holding every Internet user accountable to their behavior,” he stated.
Themed “Enabling Digital Commonwealth for Development,” the 2019 edition of the NIGF was organized the Ministry of Communications, in collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), the Internet Society Nigeria Chapter (ISOC NG), and supported by DigitalSENSE Africa Media, Creative Technology Development International (CTDI), and the Global Network for Cyber Solution (GNC) among others.