The Nigeria Internet Governance Forum held in Lagos, Nigeria on the 15th of September 2022, at “The Zone”. It was a remarkable convergence of Information, Communication, and Technology industry leaders and diverse digital transformation enthusiasts, addressing the risks, challenges, and opportunities in Nigeria’s Internet space.
The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) as this year’s Chair of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group and the permanent secretariat of the forum, fully participated in hosting representatives from government, civil society, private sector, academia, and business sector to discuss the advancement of the internet in Nigeria.
Welcoming his guests, the Chairperson of the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum Multistakeholder Advisory Group (NIGF-MAG) and President, of Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) Mr. Muhammed Rudman said the Internet is indisputably one of the most vital resources in the 21st century and has grown over the years to become an indispensable service supporting all our daily activities, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic. “Internet Governance incorporates more than just administration and distribution of Internet resources, it involves the fundamental causes of social, cultural, and economic participation in a digital society. Therefore, it has become imperative for critical stakeholders to appraise the progress made so far as an industry and chart the course for the future of Digital Transformation which is already happening in the country,” Rudman said.
The Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Group comprises critical stakeholders such as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMCDE), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Internet Society Nigeria Chapter (ISOC NG), and DigitalSENSE Africa Media (DSA).
Delivering the keynote address at the event was the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim [Pantami] FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, represented by Engr. Aliyu Abubakar Aziz, Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, National Identity Management Commission. Professor Pantami noted in his address that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is recognised around the world as the most significant driver of innovation, growth, and competitiveness. “The focus has been to use digital technologies to transform our economy and relevant sectors so that Government can be more efficient and transparent thereby improving Nigeria’s global stand in the ease of doing business index,” he said.
This year’s discourse was centered around the theme: “Advancing Digital Transformation and Trust in Nigeria.” In a bid to engage in more detailed discussions, breakout sessions were organised during the conference encouraging participation from all attendees in facilitating in-depth conversations. The breakout sessions were delivered in four hybrid rooms with the following topics: “Data Sharing & Digital Sovereignty in Nigeria”, “Building Trust in Nigerian Digital services”, “Internet as an Enabler of Inclusive Development” and “Nigeria’s Position in the Future of the Internet”. At the end of the sessions, all the in-person groups reconvened in the Ruby Hall which was the main gathering area.
The wrap-up session was moderated by Mrs. Chioma Keke, the Head of Business Development, Nigeria Internet Registration Association. She highlighted key points and recommendations from the various sessions. The NIGF is a renewed collaborative effort of internet stakeholders in the country to help provide a coordinated mechanism for domestic multi-stakeholder participation in regional and global internet governance and to help facilitate partnerships, coalitions, and dialogues that redefine Nigeria’s position at global IGF meetings. The Chairperson of the Forum, Mr. Muhammad Rudman closed by thanking all participants for being in attendance as well as the speakers and various internet stakeholders for their constant support to the NIGF over the years.