Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on Research in Social Sciences and Humanities
Convergence of ICT Policies in the National Communication Systems in Nigeria
Ifeyinwa Virginia Awagu
Nigerian information and communication industries have grown from strings of policies and regulations within their separate boundaries to a convergence under the National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy in 2012. It provided a framework for restructuring the industry to transform Nigeria into knowledge based economy and competitive society in the global ICT industry. It sets the guidelines for sub-sectoral policies and specific implementation as appropriate. The technologies, media forms, issues, interests, institutions and organizations in the ICT apparatus are critical to national communication system. Despite the convergence, there is high disparity in access, infrastructure and inefficiency in the provision of networks. Like many nations in the global power grid with vibrant unified system or conglomerates in the communication system, the recent convergence in Nigeria pose the issue of the ability of the national communication system to meet the global agenda of communication systems and apply such to national development. In view of how emerging technological, political, economic and social forces are shaping ICT policies, turning the digital divide into digital convergence and equity, this paper examines the development of ICT policies in Nigeria. It investigates the prospects and challenges of the convergence of telecommunications, information technology, broadcasting and postal services under the 2012 policy. Through a review of literature and comparative analysis, it argues that the convergence of telecommunications, information technology, broadcasting and postal services under the 2012 policy is a positive step but demands faithful implementation.
Keywords: information; national development; regulations; technologies.