By Idris Bakare
The Nigerian Communi-cations Commission (NCC) has urged the telecom operators in the country to further increase their investment in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector.
Speaking at the 5th edition of the Telecoms Executives and Regulator Forum (TERF), organised by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), the Executive Vice Chairman EVC of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, stated that the investment in the telecommunications sector was $68 billion as at 2018 and could double in the next 10 years.
The EVC who was represented by the Director, Policy Competition and Economic Analysis at NCC, Mohammed Babajika, said that the need for fresh investments have become necessary if the about 40 million unserved and undeserved Nigerians must have access to basic telephony services.
He explained that quest for data, social media and increasing value added services create new frontiers for investments.
According to him, “The need for service providers to increase their infrastructure deployment to satisfy the ever-increasing demand creates room to double the size of this investment in the next 10 years.
“We have about 40 million Nigerians yet to be reached with basic infrastructure and services, the quest for data and social media, as well as the increasing value added services create new frontiers for investments.
“Therefore, the desire for investment in the sector will continue to grow as the size of the network increases” he said
According to him, the telecoms industry is a very dynamic one and the generational change of telecommunications has continued to redefine the dynamism of the industry, from the use of voice dominated technologies (1G and 2G) to data dominated technologies (3G, 4G and 5G).
Also Speaking at the event, was the president, ATCON, Mr. Olusola Teniola, who said the event is aimed at providing great opportunity for all critical stakeholders in the industry to leverage on rare opportunity to share their views about best practices in other jurisdictions with a focus to proffer solution to challenges facing the operators.
He explained that the forum brings together key stakeholder, regulators and agencies to brainstorm on finding solutions to issues faced by operators in the ICT sector. The sector is faced with challenges disrupted by new technological innovation.
In his words, “ATCON is providing this platform for the purpose of accelerating and harnessing the changes that are taking place in the industry in order to grow the industry for all its teeming members who have made huge investments in the Nigerian telecom and ICT sector.
“The forum is set to discuss and proffer lasting solutions to the following topical industry issues; Formulation of Policy and Regulation for OTTs: Challenges and Prospects; Funding Telecoms Investment in Nigeria: How would the deficit in the Nigerian telecom infrastructure be financed?; Eradication of the influx of cloned and fake phones and other telecoms devices in Nigeria: The role of NCC, Nigerian Custom, SON, and other Relevant Government Agencies; Regulation and Policies on Cloud Computing and Cybersecurity threats in Nigeria.