The National Council on Communication Technology (NCCT) has recommended a comprehensive framework for application of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in all sectors of the Nigerian economy. This, and other recommendations, was contained in the Communiqué issued at the end of the second meeting of the NCCT held in Akure, Ondo State from August 18 to 24, 2013.
The seven-day meeting organised by the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology (FMCT) in collaboration with Ondo State Government outlined the strategic importance of the NCCT towards facilitating inter-governmental consultations on ICT. It also outlined the need for adoption of the switch to the .gov.ng top level domain extension by all the State Governments and their agencies for them to maintain secure presence in Cyber Space.
Delivering her Keynote Address, the Honourable Minister and Chairman of Council, Mrs. Omobola Johnson noted the strategic importance of the NCCT towards facilitating inter-governmental consultations on ICT matters and said that in the process of time, the procedure of the Council will be streamlined along the line of similar sector and would be held twice a year.
She also informed participants of the various initiatives being undertaken by the Ministry of Communication Technology in furtherance of its mandates. She acknowledged the steps taken by some State Governments in leveraging ICT for social and economic development. She suggested that in order to guarantee sustainability of these initiatives and ensure that they transcend different administrations, states should have dedicated institutional frameworks for coordinating ICT at state government levels. She promised assistance from the relevant agencies of the Ministry towards developing the framework.
Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, Executive Governor of Ondo State, while declaring the meeting open, said that the meeting was coming on the back drop of breath taking speed and changes in the ICT world, particularly the unprecedented convergence of computer networks and the other communication systems which has revolutionized life. Dr. Mimiko advocated for strategic partnership between government and the private sector to ensure Nigeria transits to be productive in ICT software and tools.
At the end of the Council meeting, participants agreed that the National Policy on Information and Communication Technology that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved in principle should be adopted and states should develop ICT policies that are aligned to the National ICT policies.
Participants also recommended the establishment of the Ministry of Communication Technology by each state of the Federation and the ICT secretariat by the Federal Capital Territory in view of the need for the establishment of institutional structure for coordinated approach to the implementation of ICT programme across the Country. They also suggested that the switch to the .gov.ng top level domain by all state governments and their agencies should be completed by August 18, 2014.
Participants encouraged all states and local government areas to collaborate with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for the development of their IT Policy and to establish the necessary Institutional Framework.
Participants at the meeting included honourable commissioners and officials of ICT, Science and Technology and other related areas from 22 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Representatives from several other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) also attended. The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Communication, Hon. Oyetunde Ojo; representative of the Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon. Dairo, the Presidents of Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Association of Licenced Telecomm Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), computer Registration Council of Nigeria and Executives and Captains in the ICT private sector/industry also participated in the meeting.