Broadband infrastructure key to solid digital economy- Nnamani —

Broadband infrastructure key to solid digital economy- Nnamani

Sharon Isaalah

Engineer Ikechukwu Nnamani, President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) says the development of a solid digital economy rests on the foundation of well-distributed broadband infrastructure and involves the convergence of all technology types and classes of service.

Nnamani made this known in his welcome address at a virtual structured engagement with key stakeholders in the Nigerian telecom and Information and Communications Technology sector in the new broadband plan 2020-2025.

The ATCON helmsman urged stakeholders not to rest on their oars as they are key to the realization of the 70 percent broadband penetration target, adding that efforts of company Chief Executive Officers whose right decisions have put the industry on continuous growth trajectory are well noted and commended.

In his keynote address, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, says Broadband technology is a contributor to economic growth at several levels, noting that it supports the development of the digital economy, consequently improving the nation’s traditional economy.

Broadband, according to him, enhances financial inclusion, security, education and is a key enabler for all the other sectors of the economy. Citing a report by Ericsson titled, “How Important Are Mobile Broadband Networks for Global Economic Development”, Pantami says 10 percent increase in mobile broadband penetration results in approximately 0.6 percent to 2.8 percent rise in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), adding that this reflects how much of impact broadband can have on the economy if channeled properly.

“Last week, on the 18th March 2021 to be precise, I addressed the National Economic Council (NEC). The meeting was chaired by His Excellency, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo and it had more than 30 governors in attendance.

“I made a detailed presentation on the importance of broadband to the economy of the country and discussed the impact of ICT and telecoms on the economy, as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics in the 4th Quarter GDP Report.

“The ICT sector grew by 14.70 percent in the 4th Quarter, over four times the next fastest-growing sector. Furthermore, the ICT sector also grew by 12.90 percent in 2020, more than three times the growth rate of the second-fastest-growing sector. These statistics do not even include digital services, which constitute a major part of the digital economy. I then emphasized the need for the Governors to abide by the earlier resolution of N145/linear metre.

“There was a robust question and answer session, where many of the governors commended our modest efforts and urged their colleagues to abide by the resolution. His Excellency, the Vice President, also urged the governors to support the implementation of the Broadband Plan by abiding by the Right of Way resolution,” he said.

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