The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta and other business thought leaders in the telecommunications ecosystem say a huge investment in telecom infrastructure is crucial to have a robust telecom network and economic growth.
Danbatta, who was a keynote speaker at the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria’s (ATCON) fifth Telecom and Regulatory Forum held Thursday at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos,
said the current $68 billion investment in Nigeria was huge, but by no means adequate for one of the fastest-growing telecommunications markets in the world, noting that 40 million Nigerians were yet to be reached with basic infrastructure services.
He says the NCC roadmap for broadband has created new frontiers for investment, adding that the quest for data, social media as well as the increasing value added service has also created new frontiers for investments.
On the worrying state of cybercrime, the NCC EVC, who was represented at the forum by Mr Mohammed Babajika, Director, Policy Competition and Economic Analysis at the NCC submits that cybercrime is evolving at a fast pace,
with malicious cyber-criminals becoming more sophisticated and better organised using the same Information and Communications Technology infrastructure and systems that have made it easier for people to conduct e-commerce and online transactions being exploited for criminal activities.
“The Nigerian government, being aware of the benefits of ICT to its citizens and the growing concerns about cybersecurity, therefore, carefully developed The National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy documents, and thereof, came up The CYBER CRIMES ACT 2015, which is a cohesive measure towards addressing the nation’s risk exposure in cyberspace.
“Cybersecurity has become an essential component of human activity.Its a high level of complexity requires action at different levels. Given that an increasing number of Nigerians access news through social media, this creates an obvious national security threat”, he explained.
In his welcome address, ATCON President, Mr Olusola Teniola, emphasised the need for more investments to be piped into the telecom sector, calling for all hands to be on deck to win the confidence of the international community to see Nigeria as the preferred investment destination in Africa.
According to Teniola, the industry is being disrupted on a daily basis by new technological innovations.
He says for players in the industry to stay afloat and remain relevant, they must develop new capacities to match the new opportunities that the new system presents.
Speaking on how the deficit in the Nigerian telecom infrastructure can be financed, the Executive Director, Business Development, Broad-based Communication, Chidi Ibisi said the desired investments in the telecom sector would remain a pipedream if the current 22 per cent interest rate is not slashed to a favourable rate.
He called for the collaboration of the NCC and the Central Bank of Nigeria to work out favourable policies to attract the desired investments in the ICT and Telecom sector.