Telecom regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Etisalat and other stakeholders have called on Nigerians to take advantage of the forthcoming International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecom World 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand to boost their businesses and attract foreign investors into the country.
The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta said Nigeria’s participation at the event would help participating organizations showcase their innovations, tell their success stories and network with industry leaders, organizations’ Executives, telecom experts and other reputable individuals who would be willing to partner with their viable businesses.
“Entrepreneurs will share their experiences, operators will tell their stories and interact with policy makers and government officials in a frank manner that no one attends ITU Telecom World and remain the same.” He said this at the ITU stakeholders forum held in Lagos recently.
The ITU telecom World 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand holds from November 14-17, 2016 with the theme Collaborating in the Digital Economy.
Prof. Danbatta explained that Nigeria’s participation in this years event is very important especially with the successes recorded in broadband penetration and the federal governments strive to use technology to fast track economic development.
“We will tell them about the revolution that is brewing in broadband, since 2013 when the National Broadbrand Plan (NBP) was inaugurated by government; there have been spirited efforts by the commission to raise the level of broadband penetration.
“As we speak, we have 14% penetration and over 100 percent thirst for internet. We are convinced that by 2018, the anticipated 30% penetration is not impossible to achieve.
“Bitflux Consortium has rolled out its 2.3GHz services. Two infrastructure Companies (Infracos) have been licenced for Lagos and North Central including Abuja. Five more licences are underway for North West, North East, South West, South South and South East. Our processes are being fine-tuned to actualize the licensing rounds. You are invited to join the revolution.
“There is a gap, no doubt which these would-be and existing investors will bridge. The quality of service is not robust yet, but we are assured that we will get it right with more investments.” He disclosed.
Ibrahim Dikko, Vice President, Etisalat said the recent visit of the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg to Nigeria is an indication that the country is a force to be reckon with in technology in Africa. He therefore pointed that the country’s participation at ITU Telecom World 2016 would help the world see the remarkable things Nigerian companies are doing.
The Honourable Minister of Communication, Barr. Adebayo Shittu represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Arch. Sunday Echono said the event will help showcase Nigeria to the world and it will also help attract investors to the country.
Abimbola Alale, MD/CEO, NigComSat on her own part, said her organization’s participation at last year’s ITU event was helpful. She explained that her organization was showcased to the world and that earned them international trust. She also pointed that a digital economy without ICT is a joke.
Prof. Danbatta stated that the success achieved in the ICT sector is remarkable but more still need to be done.
“Although the ICT sector has recorded very significant growth in the last 15 years when we moved from a little below 500,000 active lines to the current 157million and surpassed the 100 percent threshold for teledensity, it stands at 107%, internet connectivity climbed up from 50,000 in 2001 to its current 97 million, we have over $35b from Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and local investments are also in billions of dollars. Our story of successes is very long but we as regulators are not resting on our oars believing that we are already there.” he said.