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NCC Moves to Derisk Nigeria’s $75.6Bn Telecoms Industry

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NCC Moves to Derisk Nigeria's $75.6Bn Telecoms Industry

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has taken critical steps to reduce exposure of the country’s $75 billion telecom industry to emerging risks.

According to the commission, this is imperative to fortify the sector against emerging dangers that accompany changes and advancements in the sector.

Speaking at the opening of a two-day Telecoms Industry Risk Management Conference in Lagos, Dr Aminu Maida, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, said the industry is currently at the crossroads of tradition and transformation, where emerging technologies and trends present both unprecedented opportunities and challenges.

The event with the theme: Evolution and Future of Risk Management in the Telecommunications Industry: Harnessing Emerging Technologies and Trends, empowered players in the sector to be future-ready for increased dangers from internet evolutions, increased access and digital uptakes.

Represented by Ubale Maska, NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Maida said “while we discuss the current landscape of 5G networks, which boast of wider attack surface due to the increased number of connected devices and denser network infrastructure, it is imperative to even cast our gaze into the future.

“We are witnessing the dawn of 6G technology, the next frontier in wireless communication. With promises of even faster speeds, lower latency, and groundbreaking applications, 6G has the potential to revolutionise the way we experience connectivity.

“However, with this advancement comes the responsibility to address new risks, from cybersecurity threats to ethical considerations, ensuring that we pave the way for a secure and inclusive digital future.”

The NCC boss further stressed the need to look beyond the moment and start contemplating the possibilities and fresh set of challenges that will also come with 7G technology which also looms on the horizon.

“Anticipating and managing risks associated with 7G will require collaboration, innovation, and a proactive approach to ensure the seamless integration of this technology into our interconnected world.

“In addition to the evolution of connectivity, we must consider the implications of emerging technologies such as quantum technologies (computing, sensing, and communications), advanced artificial intelligence, and Block Chain (distributed ledger) technologies.

“These trends, when harnessed effectively, hold the potential to transform our industry positively. However, they also introduce complexities that demand careful consideration in our risk management strategies,” he added.

In his lead presentation on the theme, Dr Jacob Afolabi, a former director of Nigerian Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC), stressed the need to leverage emerging tech trends such as  5G, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligent (AI), blockchain technology, data analytics, sustainability and right-skilling, to the benefit of the sector and not the other way round.

He said, for instance, that telcos cannot afford not to leverage the opportunities of streamlining their operations with blockchain technology and artificial intelligent.

“In that instance, four use cases, namely: fraud detection, roaming and settlements, 5G enablement, IoT connectivity, providing additional layer of security as it makes businesses to benefit from a robust level of encryption, demonstrate the potentials of blockchain in streamlining their operations.

“While AI is transforming the telecos industry by providing unparalleled opportunities for growth, innovation, and efficiency, the transformation is not without risks. As telecos continue to integrate AI into their business operations, understanding and managing the emerging risks become imperative,” he said.

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