By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
A Commissioner Nominee for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Uche Onwude, who hails from Imo state, yesterday told the senate how the digital economy is driving the world, urging that NCC and Nigeria should be made to follow suit.
He added that it is on record that natural resources like crude oil and precious stone cannot compete with digital resources in a 21st century economy, which he said is most driven by digital technology.
Addressing senators during the screening exercise for the NCC commissioner nominees who were sent to the senate for confirmation by President Muhammadu Buhari, Onwude said digital and information technology companies like telecom companies, facebook, twitter, whatsapp, Apple, among others have taking over from Mobil, Total, Agip, among others in terms of global earnings.
The nominee who will be representing the South East geo political zone in the NCC said he is ready to work with young and energetic persons in the NCC to impact and share digital knowledge and use same for national development.
Speaking further, Onwude said there is need to regularize the operations between NCC, Nigerian police and Department of State Services (DSS) with a view to fashion out how to track and apprehend criminals including kidnappers through the use ICT as a tool to prevention crime from happening and war against criminals.
While revealing what innovation he is likely to bring into NCC, he said with right technological infrastructures in place, he will work with the NCC team to create a platform to allow local roaming between networks, especially where the networks have comparative advantage.
He said since Nigerians now use multiple SIM cards, this will make it possible for the mobile phones network Services to automatically switch over the network that is available in a particular location.
Onwude also said NCC should investigate the factors behind porting by subscribers, saying that unravelling of the factors behind such porting and addressing them will help to make the network service providers more effective and efficient.
However, the Imo state born south east commissioner nominee, lamented over the ripoff which Nigerians face in the hands of some telecom operators, who charge some illegal fares, saying there is need to increase enforcement and monitoring against such practices through inter agency enforcement collaboration.
Speaking also, another nominee from Oyo state, Adeola Akonde, submitted that in other countries, ICT is used to fight crime, regretting that it is the other way round in Nigeria.
However he advised that government should revert to using it to fight crime in Nigeria by tracking the criminals.
Meanwhile, the senators in their respective submissions commended the scholarly presentation by the nominees, saying they are round pegs in right holds.