Welcome Speech by the President, Nigerian Academy of Engineering - Engr. (Mrs) J. O. Maduka, MFR at the 2016 Academy Public Lecture in Abuja on Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

The Hon. Minister of Communications

Hon. Ministers

The President of COREN, NSE and other Presidents of professional bodies here present

Captains of Industry

Fellows of the Academy

Other distinguished Guests

Gentlemen of the Media

Ladies and Gentlemen 

I am deeply grateful to all of you here today, for finding time to be here to attend this most important lecture which is of immense benefit to our economy. It is therefore not a surprise that this occasion enjoys the deserved large attendance of eminent personalities like you.

Indeed, I heartily welcome every one of you to this gathering, even as I assure you all that today’s event will be quite worthwhile.

Like our counterparts across the world, the Nigerian Academy of Engineering has limited membership and Fellows are nominated on the basis of their distinguished contribution to research and practice of engineering and are positioned to serve as advisers to government and the private sector alike on engineering and technology matters. Fellows of the Academy must be Fellows of NSE and registered by COREN. 

This year’s public lecture affords yet another opportunity for the Academy to ensure necessary attention to a topical technological issue with significant impact on our country’s socio-economic wellbeing and development. Specifically, the issue in focus is: “The National Broadband as a Strategy for Social and Economic Development: the NCC Mandate”.Our choice of this topic is in furtherance of our avowed commitment to positively impacting our economy and the social life of Nigerians.  I believe we all agree that the importance of broadband and the internet to our national developmentcannot be overemphasized. It is in appreciation of this technological imperative that the former government inaugurated a Presidential Committee on a National Broadband Strategy and Roadmap in 2012. The committee eventually provided “The Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2013-2018”, which has the singular goal of ENABLING BROADBAND FOR ALL. This, in simple terms describes the mission of ensuring that we have a nation of connected communities where citizens enjoy high speed broadband and internet access which guarantee significant improvement in communication, learning, trade and commerce, community and civic engagement, more job opportunities and increased Gross Domestic product (GDP).

The actualization of this huge task rests on the Federal Ministry of Communication, through one of its agencies-the NCC.  We are here today therefore to hear from the ‘Horse’s Mouth’. It is our expectation that this lecture will provide an update on the National Broadband Plan. For instance, before the National Broadband Plan took off in 2013, it was estimated that Nigeria’s broadband penetration in 2012 was between four (4) and six (6) per cent. The question is: where are we today?Of course, this question will bring to the fore the role of government and other stakeholders, including the Communication Industry players, on the implementation of the National Broadband plan, the challenges and the way forward. It is noteworthy that what we are discussing today is a priority in the eight(8)-point agenda of the NCC, meaning that we are in for a truly enriching experience.

At this juncture, let me assure all stakeholders, including government and the business community that we will provide top quality advice on the issues raised today through our Fellows and other experts. 

Like our counterparts across the world, the Nigerian Academy of Engineering has limited membership and Fellows are nominated on the basis of their distinguished contribution to research and practice of engineering and are positioned to serve as advisers to government and the private sector alike on engineering and technology matters. Fellows of the Academy must be Fellows of NSE and registered by COREN.

Our Academy collaborates with stakeholders to promote creative and analytical technical contribution to our national culture. This is because we remain convinced that our country would more easily achieve her national aspirationswith more logical and scientific approach to solving identified challenges in all sectors of our economy.

I must thank our host specially; the Executive Vice Chairman who not only supported this event materially, but is also delivering today’s lecture.Our Vice President will do the formal Vote of Thanks later.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I wish you all a very fruitful day, a pleasant stay in Abuja and for those who travelled here from outside Abuja, a safe trip back home.Thank you for your attention! 

Engr. (Mrs.) J. Olu Maduka. FIET, FNSE, FAEng, MFR

President, Nigerian Academy of Engineering

2017 Annual Lecture