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ATCON Hails Government’s Resolve To Protect ICT Infrastructure

…Seeks Further Clarification On Status Of Executive Order On CNI

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By Ifeoma Asika

At its webinar Thursday, to interrogate the impact of the coronavirus(COVID-19)pandemic on the Telecommunications, Technology and Media(TMT)sector of the Nigerian Economy, the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria(ATCON) saluted the efforts of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr.  Ali Isa Ibrahim Pantami for getting Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari to give his nod on the protection of ICT infrastructure nationwide, while seeking clarification on the status of the Executive Order on Critical National Infrastructure(CNI).  Dr. Pantami had promised at previous meeting with industry stakeholders he would get the President sign an Executive designating Telecommunications infrastructure as CNI. ATCON President, Dr. Olusola Teniola disclosed these while welcoming participants that listed captains of industries from the private sector and  heads of agencies of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy(FMOCDE) and the media, among others.

“The honourable Minister in the recent times has matched his words with actions by getting President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, Federal Republic of Nigeria’s approval for the security of all telecommunications infrastructure nationwide. Though we hope to get more clarity on if this means the Executive Order on CNI is still expected considering this approval,” Dr. Teniola said.

The objectives of this virtual meeting are:

  • To ensure effective regulation and development and building of local capacities for the speedy spread of telecom and ICT infrastructure facilities across the country.
  • To push for the buy-in of governments at all levels to encourage telecom and ICT infrastructure development in their respective states by encourage rapid investment through incentives such as tax holiday and provision of special intervention funds for the sector by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The ATCON President commended heads of agencies under the FMOCDE  especially the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, and Director-General/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi for their show of support to the Honourable Minister in moving the industry to an enviable trajectory which could be explained by the recent 14.07 per cent Q12020 contribution of the Nigerian telecom and ICT sector to the country’s GDP.

Said Teniola: “ It will not also be wrong to commend the efforts of our member company CEOs who have been making right decisions to put us on this growth path and ensuring our networks withstood the pressures of the stay-at-home COVID-19 directive over the last 3 months.

In conclusion, we would like to thank the following sponsors; Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, NCC, NITDA, VDT Communications, Rack Center, eStream Networks, Vodacom and we hope that the report that will come out after this deliberation would be used to improve the investment climate of our industry.”

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