Nigeria to Take Broadband Campaign to ITU Telecom World
By Emma Okonji
The federal government, through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said it will take the country’s broadband penetration campaign to global investors at the forthcoming ITU Telecom World 2017, holding in Busan, South Korea, from September 25 – 28, 2017.
The Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, who made the disclosure, said Nigeria’s robust telecommunications regulatory environment, guarantee of Returns On Investment (ROI) and investors renewed confidence in the fast growing sector would form part of the country’s narrative at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecom World 2017.
Since 2001 when Digital Mobile Licences (DML), were issued by the NCC, the country has witnessed multiplier effects in social and economic development. Telecommunications services are now available to everyone unlike the pre-GSM era when only 500,000 lines were available to a population of nearly 90 million from an investment profile of about £50 million.
Teledensity was about 0.01 per cent. Internet connectivity was a nightmare. But the story has since changed, and it is necessary that we tell our story to global investors who may be willing to invest in the country’s broadband penetration, hence the need to take the broadband campaign to ITU Telecom World 2017, Ojobo said.
According to him, “There are over 150 million active subscribers now.
Internet connections are over 90 million, teledensity is well over 100 per cent. There is over £80 billion invested in the sector so far with over 70 per cent of it as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
“The investors have never known a better yesterday. So as Nigeria’s delegation berths in Busan, South Korea, the narrative will be endearing as the country beckons on more investors especially in broadband internet.”
Existing and potential investors will want to hear the cherry news of a robust regulatory agency, the NCC, which has carried out its regulatory functions in line with global best practices, stakeholders’ engagement, among others, Ojobo said.
The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, will lead the country’s delegation which will include the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of NCC, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye; Chief regulator and Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof.
Umar Garba Danbatta; key industry leaders and players among others.
The ITU Telecom World 2017 is a global platform for major industry players, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), countries and organisations to network and share ideas about new developments and technologies that would lead to better connected societies.
It is an event for international visibility of innovative Information and Communications Technology (ICT), products/services and solutions from around the world.
It involves high level debates on the core issues affecting ICT industry, sharing knowledge and working for sustainable development.
Although Nigeria has had a very robust telecommunications sector with active connected subscribers in the region of 150 million and about 110 per cent teledensity, the NCC believes that more efforts should be deployed to deepen broadband penetration.
By the National Broadband Plan, NBP (2013 – 2018) the country is expected to attain 30 per cent broadband penetration by 2018, which currently stands at 21 per cent.
Nigeria is expected to host an investment forum at ITU Telecom World 2017 and Broadband Nigeria will be at the focus of discussions, Ojobo said.