From Cyriacus Nnaji, Lagos
Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has announced its plan to host the maiden edition of Virtual Structured Engagement with Key Stakeholders in the Nigerian Telecom & ICT Sector on the New National Broadband Plan 2020- 2025.
In a press statement signed by Ikechukwu Nnamani, President, ATCON and Wole Abu, Publicity Secretary, the engagement which has the theme ‘Realizing the new set target of 70% of Broadband Penetration’ is slated for Thursday, March 25, 2021.
The statement also disclosed that the buy-in of the various sub-groups under the membership of ATCON would be leveraged upon to ensure and guarantee that the new Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 is adequately positioned to deliver its ultimate purposes for the generality of Nigerians more quickly and strategically.
It reads “Traditionally, ATCON as an organization usually gives its members the opportunity to review and provide insightful approaches and solutions along with Ministry, NCC, NITDA and State Governments as to what needs to be done to support various programmes and projects that are earmarked for the successful implementation of the previous National Broadband Plan under past ministers.”
Part of the strategic objectives of the engagement include to compliment the various strategic activities already embarked upon by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy; to achieve the set target of Broadband penetration in Nigeria with great speed; and to leverage on the wide spectrum of ATCON sub-group for effective participation in the new Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 by giving them the opportunity to access the plan and suggest various ways to speed up the realization of the established target by the government.
Other objectives, the statement read, are to serve as a veritable platform to galvanize the needed input that reflect the thinking of the telecom and ICT sector; and an opportunity to review the relevance of the Nigerian policy environment vis-a-vis the telecom operating environment.
Expected at the engagement is Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, who is expected to deliver the Principal Keynote Address on “Enhancing the contributions of sub-sector in the Nigerian national broadband plans through enabling policies.”
Also expected are Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, EVC/CEO, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director-General/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Engr Aliyu Aziz Abubakar, Director-General/CEO, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). The trio would share their respective commissions and agency’s perspective via a paper presentation on “Aggregating the potentials of the sub-sector to meet the new broadband set target of 70%”.
According to the statement, each sub-sector is seen as an integral part of the entire ecosystem of the Nigerian telecom and ICT sector hence, selected representative of various subgroups would be expected to make a presentation on how the new National Nigeria Broadband Plan 2020-2025 is impacting the subsector and list what can be done to make the plan realize its set target on or before the stated period.
Some of the sub-sectors/sub-groups that their inputs would be collated which are germane to the implementation of the new Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 are Towers/Base Stations Providers, MNOs, Over The Top (OTT) players, Value Added Services Providers (VAS), Metro-Fibre Operators.
Others are Submarine/Undersea Cable Operators, Internet Services Providers (ISP) – Wholesale Segment, Data Centre Operators, Internet Services Providers (ISP) – Retail Segment, Digital Skills/Capacity Building, FINTECH/e-Commerce Operators, Cloud Computing, Manufacturers’ Representative, Satellite Operators, eGovernment Services Providers and Equipment Dealers.
“We are confident that this special engagement would enable us to carry out the industry mapping with respect to the new Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025.
“This very important strategic and flagship event would serve as a veritable platform for the key stakeholders in the telecom and ICT sector to brainstorm and proffer solution for the realization of the new set target of 70% of Broadband Penetration more expediently”, the statement added.