The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, who serves as the regulatory body for the telecommunication industry has outlined the several steps it is taking to ensure that Nigeria joins the elite group of ICT-savvy countries. This was disclosed by the Commission’s executive vice chairman, Professor Umar Danbatta.
The steps the commission was engaging in include
- Discussions with various levels of government
- Revising the Nigerian Telecom Policy
- National and regional infrastructure development (fibre cabling, power, road network, security, etc)
- Re-positioning of Internet Exchange Point (IXP)
- Ensuring spectrum availability
All these steps, Danbatta believes, will create business opportunities for investors, home and abroad, while improving human capital development, equipment manufacture, vendor, sales and installation of telecom. The cumulative effect of all these would be the growth and development of the nation’s economy through increased GDP. When the nation achieves this, then Danbatta says she would have taken her place among ICT savvy nations.
“The solid metro and backbone ICT infrastructure required to carry and sustain the huge amount of data to be generated is already being planned to be put in place. This will yield the growth, development and increase in gross domestic product (GDP) that is necessary for Nigeria to take her place among ICT-savvy nations. We are really living in interesting times.”
If the country is to achieve this lofty goal the NCC has set, however, industry experts opine that the current forex scarcity, multiple taxation, security challenges and other factors currently delimiting the industry’s growth must be addressed.
For example, he president, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Engr. Olusola Teniola said, “The free fall of naira against dollar has constituted a serious source of worry to our sector and, as a matter of fact, our member companies have tried to make sure that Nigerians have access to qualitative communications service, but the continuous depreciation of the naira is not encouraging, from a capital expenditure (capex) roll out perspective.”
Parts of this article originally appeared in Leadership News