Stories Olabisi Olaleye
Nigeria’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT), industry has dazzled the global space with its emerging trends and bridging the digital divide. However, ICT stakeholders said mobile divide may pose another threat to global recognition.
Mobile divide, according to them include broadband penetration, availability, affordability and subscribers subscription.
These and more were among the points raised at the Stakeholders forum for the upcoming 26th edition of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), World 2016, scheduled to hold in Thailand in November.
One after the other, stakeholders noted that public private partnership in ITU participation and other telecom events would drive the intended traffic as well as desired global recogntion.
Speaking, at the event Etisalat Vice president, Mr Ibrahim Dikko, said no one should see any technology forum as solely for the telcos and regulator alone, but one for everyone to achieve the desired result.
According to the host and the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC),Prof Umar Garba Danbatta ,although the country has recorded very significant growth in the last 15 years is not yet there as it is mere work in progress.
The EVC explained Nigeria needs to bridge the mobile divide or will continue to lag behind because sub saharan Africa has only three percent out of 7 billion subscribers for fixed and wireless who are domiciled in European countries.
“There is a gap, no doubt which these wouldbe and existing investors will bridge.
“Bridging mobile divide would help to ease out inequality in goverrnance, individuals and communities.We need more partnership investments to make us overcome this digital divide.Quality of service is not robust yet but we can get it right and implementation is very critical to the economy”.
He further disclosed that awareness should not be seen as mere government’s participation, rather, it should be viewed and embraced as public private participation in order to further enhance the desired recognition needed for more success stories.
“We are here to restrategise on how we can attract more meaningful investments into our country.We are here to fine tune our story about the growth and attraction of our sector. We arehere to think of ways to convince would-be investors on the potentials and capacity of our country. We are here to agree on the future growth of the telecoms industry.
“Several investors have been here and many more are on their way. We will tell them that Nigeria is safe for investors and Return on Investments(RoI) is assured. We will tell them that our regulatory processes areopen, effective and transparent. We will tell them about the. Growing demand for fast, stable and reliable internet connectivity and that those who invested heavily in our Digital Mobile Licences (DMLs) since 2001 have never known a better yesterday”.
Danbatta also argued that the country has 14 percent penetration and over 100 percent thirsty for internet, “We are convinced that by 2018, the anticipated 30 percent penetration is not impossible to achieve
He noted that Bitflux Consortium rolled out on its 2.3GHz services and that two infrastructure companies(Infracos) have been licensed for Lagos, North Central including Abuja. While five more licenses are underway for North West, North East, South West, South South and South East. Our processes are being fine -tuned to actualise the licensing rounds”.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communication, Mr Sunny Echeno,who represented the Minister of Communications, Barr Adebayo Shittu added that Nigeria is tilting from oil to ICT based economy and there are lots of things to be done because it is a viable sector if properly harnessed.
“The ITU will help to restrategise on how to further grow the economy and put the nation in right perspective among the committee of nations”, he said.
Airtel, Osinbajo, Zuckerberg
motivate innovators for
Dignataries, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) stakeholders have urged winners of the Aso Villa Demo Day to further think technology and recreate ICT where possible to achieve a robust economy.
The stakeholders include Airtel Nigeria, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and Founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, gave this charge while commending all the participants of the , a presidential initiative aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and innovation through the use of new and emerging technologies.
Airtel, one of the major sponsors of the initiative, endowed and presented cash prizes to the top three participants.
According to the Vice President , creativity, drive and entrepreneurial spirit are needed and there is so much hope in what the young generation can do.
He also hinted that the Federal Government is currently exploring ways to cooperate with Facebook in the next few months.
Ogunsanya reaffirmed Airtel’s commitment to pioneering innovation in the telecoms industry as well as seeking credible platforms to support the Nigerian government and the country’s youth.
Zuckerberg, in his submission, said it is inspiring to see what young Nigerians have done in terms of app development and use of technology.
Aso Villa Demo Day was aimed at promoting entrepreneurship, innovation, job creation and economic growth through the use of new and emerging technologies. An initiative of the Presidency, the maiden edition celebrated some of the best Nigerians in technology innovation and creativity and also featured inspiring talks from thought leaders and experts from different economic sectors in Nigeria.