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Stakeholders call for regulation of Nigeria’s IoT ecosystem – VELOXNEWS


By Chinenye Anuforo, [email protected]

Stakeholders in Nigeria’s information and communications technology (ICT) have called for effective regulation of the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem in the country.

The stakeholders, who met in Lagos at the Nigeria Communications Commission’s stakeholders’ consultative forum on emerging technologies, with the theme, “Regulatory Roadmap for IoT Ecosystem in Nigeria,” agreed that regulation of IoT market would spur investment in the sector and also boost growth.

In his welcome address, executive vice-chairman of the NCC,  Prof. Umar Danbatta, explained that IoT was a system of inter-related computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring any human intervention (human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction).

He said, “This is increasingly becoming important in the scheme of activities across most sectors of the economy, which includes education, security, military reconnaissance    commerce, governance, inventory management, health, surveillance, smart city initiatives, etcetera.”

Danbatta pointed out that, applications of IoT were far-reaching: “In the home, IoT can be used for home automation and control, lighting, temperature measurement, entertainment amongst others. Similarly, in industrial settings, Internet of Things unites assets, advanced analytics and workers by using connected industrial devices to monitor, collect, exchange, and analyze insights to drive faster and better decision making.  Industrial Internet of Things can be used to track inventory, improve the monitoring of product quality, and automate factories to make them run more efficiently.”

He stated that, with the advent of 5G technology, Nigeria would witness another dimension in the IoT ecosystem as 5G technology is going to enable Massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC) and so the NCC organised the forum for stakeholders to constructively exchange ideas and views on the spectrum and regulatory requirement of IoT.   

Speaking during the panel discussion, Mr. Usman Aliyu, head, Spectrum Adminis-tration, NCC, said, already, there has been some form of regulation in IoT but the regulators need to sharpen up to ensure coordination.

On his part, Abraham  Oshadami explained that, by nature, anything that is regulated works very well, adding that regulation of the IoT market in the country was paramount to bring about growth in the economy.

Corroborating him, NCC’s director of technical standards and network integrity, Engr. Bako Wakil, stated that, considering all the challenges and issues surrounded the IoT ecosystem, the regulation of the sector was of essence in mitigate the hurdles.

However, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, has stressed that Nigeria’s telecom regulatory framework has been designed to address the challenges that may arrive with the advancement of the IoT in the country.

Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, who gave the assurance at the event, also presentated two books he authored, “Datafication of Society to Foster an Internet Economy” and “Cybersecurity: Initiatives for Securing a Country.”

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