Stakeholders in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry on Tuesday expressed readiness for Nigeria to be part of the countries coordinating the Internet.
The stakeholders made this known at a two-day 2014 Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF) organised by the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the forum had the theme: "Harnessing Multi-Stakeholders' Framework for Internet Governance and Economic Growth".
The Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, said at the event that the importance of the Internet and its whole ecosystem could not be over-emphasised.
She said that there was the need for Nigeria to be involved in its governance.
The minister was represented by the Ministry's Director of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Mr John Ayodele.
Johnson said that the Internet had evolved and grown over decades to become a most important infrastructure that pervaded every sphere of human endeavour.
She noted that billions of people relied on the Internet for socio-economic progress and advancement.
"Indeed, with the way we now rely on the Internet in our work, businesses, education, social life and even governance, many wonder how we were ever able to get things done before it came into being
"This realisation has resulted in the need to reassess the governance model of the global Internet ecosystem.
"This is to ensure that a more robust, all- encompassing system is designed that will ensure the continuity of the Internet as one single global resource uniformly available and accessible to all," Johnson said.
According to her, the relevance of Nigeria in Internet governance required multi-stakeholders' collaboration.
Mr Emmanuel Edet, the Legal Adviser of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said that there was the need to localise the NIGF so that it would remain relevant in Nigeria.
Edet said that stakeholders should be positively engaged in the forum so as to ensure participation at the global level.
Mr Austin Okere, the Chief Executive Officer of Computer Warehouse Group (CWG), said that Internet usage in the country was high, but Internet penetration had remained low.
Okere noted that according to the National Broadband Plan, it had been projected that 80 per cent of Nigerians would have internet access by 2018.
He said that the projection had made the government to be moving its services online.
The President of NIRA, Mrs Mary Uduma, expressed the hope that the NIGF would come up with recommendations that would enable the country to make positive impacts in global Internet governance.
Uduma said that there was the need to boost Internet penetration in the country, adding that this required a policy to enhance it. (NAN)