INFORMATION and Communications Technology (ICT) Minister Timothy Masiu says the National Information and Communication Authority (Nicta) must create an ICT regulatory environment that supports small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and businesses.
Speaking during the launch of Nicta’s corporate plan 2021 to 2025, Masiu said these sectors of the economy had the potential to accelerate economic growth.
“Digital technologies can enhance the growth in this sector and help PNG leapfrog towards digital economy,” he said.
“Give equal attention to up-skilling the Nicta management and staff to be on par with current trends and practices in the ICT sector so that you are able to effectively regulate the industry and to ensure ICT goods and services are affordable and available to our citizens.
“I also want to stress the need for Nicta to have oversight on media and broadcasting.
“The national ICT summit hosted by the ministry earlier this month revealed regulatory gaps in this area of media and broadcasting.
“In fact, I directed the Department of ICT and Nicta to review the summit recommendations so that we can work together to strengthen the regulatory regime for the betterment of the industry, our people, and the country as a whole.”
The new Nicta corporate plan focuses on:
- IMPROVING stakeholder collaboration across Government;
- ENHANCING communications among citizens;
- ESTABLISHING regulations to oversee efficiency within the ICT sector;
- IMPROVING connectivity; and,
- DEPLOYING technology to drive local innovation.
“There is no doubt that ICT is a catalyst for economic growth and social development,” Masi said.
“ICT also poses two development challenges.
“First, is the rapid technological development of ICT around the world which Nicta must embrace and tailor to suit local circumstances.
“Second is the increase in demand for ICT Services due to the growth of an educated population and increase in use of digital technologies by SMEs and businesses in the country.
“I want to encourage Nicta to continue to be diligent in the administration of its statutory functions and powers.
“This is critical for a robust regulatory framework.”
Masiu said the corporate plan set a clear target for Nicta, consistent with PNG’s Medium-Term Development Plan 3.
“And so, I look forward to seeing Nicta carry out its mandate for the benefit of our citizens, industry and the country as a whole.”
Masiu said the launch of Nicta’s Corporate Plan 2021-2025 was an important occasion because it ushered in a renewed sense of direction for the authority.
“The ICT sector has evolved since the last corporate plan,” he said.
“I am pleased that the new five-year plan takes into account the changes over the years including implications for the government, industry and consumers.”
Masiu acknowledged stakeholders and thanked them for complying with regulations and for supporting Nicta in the delivery of its statutory responsibilities.