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ATCON to dissect pandemic’s socio-economic, political impacts on ICT sector

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The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) is set to host a virtual conversation to discuss the socio-economic and political impact of coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) on telecom and ICT sector in Nigeria.

A statement signed Friday by Olusola Teniola, president of the association disclosed that the meeting slated for Thursday, June 4, 2020 via Zoom by 10am.

According to Teniola, Nigeria cannot continue to rely on its traditional means of livelihood which is revenue from the sale of the volatile crude oil. This is because COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the normal ways of living and transacting business socially, economically, and politically.

He stressed that the price of crude oil in the international market fell below the benchmark prize used for 2020 budget and the federal government has resorted to borrowing a huge sum of money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to cushion the effect of the fall in the price of crude oil in the international market.

“To salvage the situation, there is an urgent need for collaboration from both the public and private sector to jumpstart the diversification and emergence of digitization of the Nigerian economy.” Teniola noted.

The statement highlighted the objectives of the virtual meeting to include ensuring effective regulation and development; and building of local capacities for the speedy spread of telecom and ICT infrastructure facilities across the country.

Other objective, he said, is to push for the buy-in of governments at all levels to encourage telecom and ICT infrastructure development in their respective states by encouraging rapid investment through incentives such as tax holiday and provision of special intervention funds for the sector by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“This high-powered virtual meeting is expected to be attended by top government functionaries, CEOs of telecom and ICT companies, directors (public and private) and media friends,” he said.

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