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ATCON Makes Recommendations to Tinubu on Next Communications Minister



Executive Secretary of ATCON, Mr. Ajibola Olude

By Sandra Orim

  • Cheers at Unified Exchange Rate News

The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has urged President Bola Tinubu to appoint appropriate individual as the next Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

The Executive Secretary of ATCON, Mr. Ajibola Olude, urged the President to look within the ICT sector to appoint the next minister into the office just vacated by Professor Isa Pantami, who served under the former administration of President Muahammadu Buhari.

The ATCON Secretary said that with the current challenges faced in the sector, there was no time to experiment with someone from outside the industry.

He said: “We need someone who knows the challenges in the ICT sector and understands how to find solutions to them. The industry also needs someone ready to work with the critical stakeholders in the industry, not an independent person who would not listen to them.”.

While Ajibola also cheered at the proposed unified exchange rate regime in Nigeria announced by President Tinubu during his inaugural address on Monday. Olude described the plan as a positive development for the telecom industry.

According to him, if implemented, a unified exchange rate will ease the burden of sourcing for forex by telecom operators. According to him, currently, telecom operators buy dollars from the black market, which is very expensive.

He noted that because of the high exchange rate, telcos end up using the money meant to buy multiple pieces of equipment to buy just one.

Olude said that unifying the exchange rate would allow easy access to forex at equal rates for all players in the economy.

On broadband, Olude said the new administration should work toward realizing the 70% target set in the National Broadband Plan 2020–2025. He said that as of March, broadband penetration was around 48.2%, noting that the country had two and a half years to achieve the plan’s targets.

He said the new administration should not only work toward meeting the target but also try to surpass and increase it. Olude said he believed that the current president was proactive and would explore private investors to achieve the 70% target.

He added that to further elevate the industry, the new administration must listen to relevant stakeholders on issues that have to do with the telecom and ICT sectors.

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