• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Nigeria’s telecoms industry valued at over $38bn

mobile phone and telecommunication towers

Nigerian telecoms industry is now valued at over $38 billion in investment profile, Adebayo Shittu, minister of communications, has said.

Shittu attributed key driver of the evolution and development of the industry to proactive and responsive policies and therefore tasked stakeholders to work harder to attract more foreign direct investments.

The minister, who spoke at Nigerian Telecoms Award at the weekend in Lagos, further said the ministry was drafting a bill to unbundle ICT infrastructure so as to enable it contribute more to the national economy.

“The draft bill is aimed at increasing private participation in the ICT industry. Apart from the revenue accruing from the sector, ICT could compete favourably with oil and gas sector in terms of job and wealth creation for the country,” Shittu said.

According to Shittu, his ministry’s projection for the digital economy is to create an industry that is less fragmented and more representative from 2017.

He listed new target levels to be achieved in 2018 to include full implementation of broadband penetration plan (30%), ICT contribution to GDP (30%), internet penetration (50%), and mobile penetration (100%).

The minister told the audience, who comprised Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and top stakeholders in the ICT industry and marketers that ICT had provided unprecedented facilities and opportunities for Nigeria in order to leapfrog into the knowledge-driven global economy and enjoy the benefits of socio-economic development offered by the post-information age.

Therefore, the government is poised to continuously offer technology start-ups the opportunities to make them increase their capacity, he said, saying, “Policy makers are leaving no stone unturned in the determination to drive start-ups/SMEs growth in the ICT sector.

“Plans are underway to bring renowned and global players from abroad to show small and growing businesses how they can attain healthy growth in their various businesses and learn the secrets to enable them run their business efficiently.”

In addition, he also said the ministry would support ICT stakeholders to collaborate with other countries that had used ICT for development, such as China, South Korea, Singapore and India. “Our strategy is to work with countries that are ready to take advantage of the Nigerian market while deepening indigenous skills,” he said.

There is need for convergence of regulations with the objective of strengthening existing enabling laws to achieve effective enforcement of ICT policies and to ensure there is a one-stop shop platform, he said.

“This will reduce the number of enforcement actions, improve quality of service and customer satisfaction, eliminate multiple taxation and increase foreign direct investment,” he said.

Also speaking at the venue, Umaru Danbatta, director-general, Nigerian Communication Commission, congratulated the organisers of the award, saying all eyes were on the telecoms industry, the regulator for economic growth.

Danbatta, who agreed that the industry had contributed significantly to the Nigerian economy, said the NCC was on the march to achieving more penetration of internet that would lead to improved economy.