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ATCON hastens meeting 70% broadband penetration target with Sectoral Virtual Forum

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ATCON targets meeting 70% broadband penetration

The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has concluded plans to organize a Sectoral Virtual Forum with the principal goal of meeting the new broadband target of 70 per cent.

According to the association, this would address the need of telecom and ICT consumers in the COVID-19 and post COVID-19 pandemic cum digital economy era.

The virtual meeting is slated for 10am on Thursday, August 6, 2020 on Zoom and on facebook and other social media platforms, with the theme “Meeting the Interests of Government, Consumers and Telecom & ICT Companies in the Era of COVID-19 and Post Covid-19 Pandemic for Digital Economy Development”.

“This time around, ATCON is providing a veritable platform for governments, consumers (corporate and personal) and telecommunications and ICT companies to rob minds on how consumers can be better off in terms of effective delivery of telecoms and ICT services and products in Nigeria,” the association said in a statement signed by Ajibola Olude, its Executive Secretary.

The centrality of consumer to the projected growth of the Nigerian telecoms and ICT Sector cannot be overlooked in the area of needed investment to accelerate the progress of our sector, it said.

With the emergence of digital economy in Nigeria coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, ATCON projected that many economic transactions would be done digitally going forward.

“In actualizing this dream of giving Nigerian telecoms and ICT consumers a place in the heart of Governments and Telecoms and ICT Companies, all hands must be on deck in that governments must make laws that encourage further investment into the sector, telecommunications and ICT companies must make consumers satisfaction their priority and the consumers must support the telecoms and ICT companies by requesting government to relax its exorbitant taxes and levies and telecoms and ICT companies must be able to buy Forex directly from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” ATCON stated.

Recall that the Nigeria’s telecom sector had, in recent times, witnessed two major important developments which are renaming of the communications ministry to reflect digital economy by President Muhammadu Buhari, on October 23, 2019.

Buhari Launches National Broadband Plan, Emergency Call Centre ...

Launching of National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) by President Buhari

The step further expanded its mandate to capture the goals of digitalization of the Nigerian economy in line with the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (EGRP).

The other epochal event in the country with direct bearing on the telecoms industry is the global outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

ATCON noted that these two important developments will form the basis of the continued development of the telecoms and ICT sector in the next few years.

However it said that the anticipated growth and development of the sector is hinged on the role of the government in terms of regulation and policy directions, the telecom and ICT companies and finally the consumers.

Meanwhile, ATCON that is conventionally committed to the continuous progress of the Nigerian telecoms and ICT sector plans to use the proposed sectoral forum to proffer lasting solutions as well as galvanize support from the government, telecom companies and the consumers.

This is aimed at meeting digital demands during and after the pandemic era and for digital economy development and increasing the contributions of the sector geometrically to Nigeria’s GDP by considering some of the challenges of these catalysts of development with a view to solving them.

Institutional participants at the meeting include the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), which will constitute the role of the government.

All members of ATCON and players in the industry will constitute the role of the operators while National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS), Consumer Rights Awareness Advancement And Advocacy Initiative (CRAAAI), Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), and chattered institute of chamber will constitute the role of the consumers.

Other consumer-oriented participants are Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Nigerian Bar Association, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), National Universities Commission, among others.

“The interdependence among the government, telecom and ICT companies and Nigerians are clearly obvious but each of them has limitations and potentials hence the forum would make an attempt to address their limitations and turn them to advantage for the development of Nigerian Telecom and ICT Sector in the era of COVID-19 and Post COVID-19 Pandemic,” ATCON stated.

Ajibola Olude, Executive Secretary, ATCON

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