Saturday January 28, 2023

The Interconnection of several networks linking thousands of devices - the Internet - and the resultant dependencies on the facilities provided, have become an indispensable platform for communication, commerce, development, amongst others. The reach of this platform extends beyond the traditional borders of nations and as such impact on one “area” affects another, thus no nation can stand aloof or remain complacent with its developments and use. The Governance of the Internet is therefore a major global concern.

There are several agencies responsible for various aspects of internet governance, and each plays a significant role. Currently there is no agreed universal definition of Internet Governance, but the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) organized by the United Nations, in 2006, gave this working definition;

The development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programs that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.

The Nigerian Communications Commission as regulator oversees the activities of all Internet access, and Services providers. Pursuant to this objective, the Commission designs programmes and initiatives, organizes events, carries out research on Internet Governance developments in other jurisdictions, promotes the establishment of a multi-stakeholder structure of policy development, participates in Internet Governance related fora within and outside the region, and partners with International agencies to drive growth in Internet access, growth and usage within Nigeria. Commission’s activities and initiatives includes;

  1. The Development of the Internet Code of Practice (ICoP)

    The Commission in line with its regulatory mandate published the ICoP in 2017 to define the rights and obligations of Internet Access with regard to the provision of Internet services in Nigeria.

    The Commission as the industry supervisor will ensure Implementation and compliance.

  2. Development of National Internet Registry Database

    The Commission documents information on all IP addresses allocated to Nigeria by AFRINIC. Such information is utilized for various regulatory activities relating to security on the Internet.

  3. Nigerian Child Online Protection (COP)

    1. Child Online Protection (COP) is an initiative which was established by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in November 2008, to promote online safety of children around the world. ITU released the first set of COP guideline in 2009. The COVID-19 pandemic increased the number of children online due to remote schooling this led to the release of the revised ITU guidelines on COP in July 2020.

      The Commission held a virtual hangout with children in order to adopt the revised and localized guidelines, for Nigerian children. The localized versions are:

    2. These localized version were translated into Pidgin (Pi)– Yoruba (Wa), Hausa (Zo), Igbo (Bia), known as the PiWaZoBia collection. These are available for download.
    3. The Commission chaired the committee setup by the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, to develop the draft National Child Online Protection Policy and Strategy (NCOPPS).

      The Committee was co-chaired by National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and had members across key stakeholders as identified by FMCDE - Federal Ministry of Justice (FMoJ), Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (FMoW), Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Cybersecurity Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), and Network Against Scam and Cybercrime.

      The Committee was given the mandate to build on existing initiatives on Child Online Protection (COP), provide a coherent strategy to meet global best practices, and further develop the existing child protection ecosystem.

      NCOPPS document will be uploaded accordingly.

    4. Keeping Children Safe Online - Advice To Parents And Caregivers
      The Commission being a member of the ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) adopted and localized the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (EUROPOL) International Edition of the ‘COVID-19 Online Safety Advice for Parents and Carers released in 2020 to develop its own document 'Keeping Children Safe Online - Advice for Parents and Caregivers.'
  4. Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN)

    The Commission in collaboration with the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) supported the establishing of Point of Presents (POPs) in various remote locations across the country. Optimal functionality of the IXPN will:

    • Localized internet traffic with low latency
    • High speed internet access
    • High bandwidth at a lower cost
    • Improve services and application performance at the exchange point
    • Encourage more local content adoption
  5. Internet Governance Collaboration

    The Commission collaborates with the following Internet Governance related bodies;