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Nigeria: Ministry Canvasses Engineers’ Support for e-Govt Initiatives
Source: http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=125488:ministry-canvasses-engineers-support-for-e-govt-initiatives&catid=55:compulife&Itemid=391
Source Date: Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Thematic Website, Knowledge Management in Government, Citizen Engagement
Country: Nigeria
Created: Jun 28, 2013

NCC lists benefits, implications of convergence
RECOGNISING the huge role engineers play in an economy, the Ministry of Communications Technology has solicited their support  in its drive towards sustaining the various e-government initiatives in the country.
Speaking in Lagos at the Academy Technology Dinner of The Nigerian Academy of Engineering, the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, said that there was a huge role for engineers to play in the country’s drive towards e-government implementation.
Johnson, represented by the Director of e-government in the ministry, Tope Fashedemi said that moving the country forward required the contribution of intellects from all sectors of the economy, stressing that the task of fixing the economy should not be left to the government alone.
The minister said automating key citizen and business facing government processes and increasing the rate of adoption of ICTs by civil service would help to drive efficient and effective governance.
According to her, shared government infrastructure continues to expand and deliver economies of scale benefits, “government launched its service portal in April 2013 the first e-government call centre will be launched in Abuja in 2013.
“The federal government’s Open Data initiative is also making more non-sensitive datasets available to the public,” she stated.
Speaking on “Future of Telecommunication services and the distruptive influence of convergence” the guest speaker at the dinner, the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Eugene Juwah noted that the rapid developments of Information and Communications Technology and the advent of new services over telecommunication networks had given rise to convergence in how services were delivered to customers.
Juwah said that as convergence grew rapidly in the telecommunications industry, it raised regulatory challenges given the merging of firms and facilities, because traditional regulatory frameworks were designed for an era when clear functional differences existed between services and infrastructure were not designed for this new environment of converged networks and services where functional differences no longer exist.
According to him, some benefits of convergence included the creation of possibilities for companies to develop and deliver services across technology platforms, promoted expansion of competition, which allowed the introduction of intermodal competition where networks and technologies competed with each other with no technological or regulatory restrictions.
Others were helping to reduce costs of telecommunications services, fostered the development of more efficient technologies and services and opened door for new ways for people to obtain Internet access.
Juwah, however, noted: “Convergence regardless of the associated benefits has given rise to uncertainties in regulatory framework, which is particularly impactful in such critical areas as interconnection between networks, quality of service as well as competition and pricing.”
In competition, the NCC EVC said that network convergence was an important driver of change in the telecommunications industry with a single integrated IP network delivering a combination of data voice and video.
“This makes it possible for different platforms deployed by different operators in hitherto different industry segments (fixed and mobile) to offer equivalent services with a potential positive effect on competition.”
According to him, there is need for a mechanism to ensure flexibility in the regulations through continuous engagement with other regulators, as well as stakeholders in the telecommunications industry to ensure that any framework that results supports full competition, and ensures transparency and accountability.

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