POLITICAL ECONOMY

Why ATCON’s Structured Webinar Is Coming At This Time

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Driven by the desire to see that the private sector is not left behind in Nigeria’s quest to achieve heightened broadband penetration, ENGR. IKECHUKWU NNAMANI explains the motif behind his association’s webinar.

On behalf of the stakeholders in the Nigerian Telecoms and ICT industry under the auspices of ATCON, I welcome you all to this to this high-powered virtual event which is put together to have a conversation around the New National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 with a view to ascertaining the status of the implementation, identifying any bottlenecks to successful implementation that may still exist, and proffering lasting solutions to issues that are likely to constitute an obstacle to the eventual realization of the 70 per cent Broadband penetration target.

In the year 2020, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy announced that Nigeria’s broadband penetration increased by 10% over the previous year, from 33.3 per cent to 43.3 per cent. With this positive development, we are hopeful that this year’s penetration rate would surpass that of 2020 as this event plans to encourage every segment of the sector to double their efforts in terms of encouraging further penetration.

I am very delighted that Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy accepted our invitation to this meeting. I commend his tireless efforts towards resolving key challenges facing the industry and also advocating for the speedy implementation of the national broadband plan. The fruits of his efforts can be seen in terms of broadband penetration and various policies that have been initiated, ratified, and issued to further encourage the growth of the industry.

Permit me to also commend Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the work he has done over the years in promoting broadband penetration in the country especially with the facilitation of the smooth operation of the Infraco class  of license with the core objective of ensuring broadband infrastructure gets to every major cities within the country.

I also want to appreciate the efforts of Director-General/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi and Director-General/CEO, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Engr. Aliyu Aziz Abubakar for their efforts in promoting the digital economy in Nigeria and their constant support for the telecom and ICT sector of the economy through partnership with ATCON.

To our member company CEOs who have been making right decisions to put the industry on

continuous growth trajectory and who helped get Nigeria out of the recent economic recession, your efforts is well noted and commended. I like to use this opportunity to appeal that you don’t rest on your oars because the realization of 70 per cent broadband penetration target depends considerably on you in the coming years.

The development of a solid digital economy rests on the foundation of a well distributed broadband infrastructure and involves the convergence of all technology types and classes of service. To this end we have brought together key industry leaders cutting across the nine sub-group of ATCON’s membership to discuss and strategize with the leadership of the public sector on the best ways to achieve an accelerated implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan. This includes our members from: Telephone Operators (PNL/Fixed Line Operators, MNOs/IDAs Operators), Infrastructure Providers (Interconnect, Data Centre Operators, Towers/Base Stations Providers); Internet Services Providers (ISP) (Wholesale Segment, Retail Segment), Value Added Services Providers (VAS), Over The Top (OTT) Players, FINTECH/e-Commerce Operators, Telecom/ICT Equipment Manufacturers, Telecom/ICT Consulting firms, and Telecom/ICT Equipment Dealers.

The objectives of this virtual meeting are:

a. Ascertain the status of the implementation of the NNBP 2020-2025

b. Identify any potential bottlenecks that may negatively impact on the smooth implementation of the plan and proffer necessary solutions to mitigate against them

c. Leverage on the wide spectrum of ATCON sub-groups for effective participation in the new

Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 by giving them the opportunity to access the plan

and suggest various ways to speed up the realization of the established target by the government.

d. To serve as a veritable platform to align the objectives and expectations of the private and public sectors

In conclusion, we would like to thank the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy for

endorsing the event and also our sponsors; NCC, NITDA, Huawei, Liquid Telecom, MainOne, Airtel Networks, Medallion Communications, NIGCOMSAT, PPC, ATC, VDT Communications, Rack Center and IpNX. We hope that the report that will come out after this deliberation would contribute positively towards achieving the set targets of the NNBP 2020-2025.

Thank you and God bless.

  • Being Welcome Address By Engr. Ikechukwu Nnamani, President,  ATCON, At A Virtual Structured Engagement With Key Stakeholders In The Nigerian Telecom & ICT Sector On The New National Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025 Held On Thursday, March 25, 2021.

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