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Pantami, Danbatta, other ICT icons set for ATCON’s Sectoral Forum

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As the day of a stakeholders’ forum planned by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) approaches, the crème de la crème of the Nigerians ICT and telecommunications sectors are already expressing interest to be part of the forum.

According ATCON, the forum centres on the need of telecoms and ICT consumers in the era of Covid-19 and post Covid-19 pandemic cum digital economy era with a view to meeting the new national broadband target of 70 per cent.

The event, scheduled for Thursday, August 6 at 11:30am on Zoom conference App with simultaneous live relay on Facebook and other social media platforms, is themed “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.”

According to a press statement signed Monday by Ajibola Olude, ATCON’s Executive Secretary, Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy is leading other dignitaries in the country’s ICT sector to key into the programme for participation.

The statement also showed that apart from Pantami, Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has also confirmed its readiness for participation in the discussion.

ATCON said that Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) would join Pantami and Danbatta to constitute the panelists from the government establishments.

They will be making presentations on the theme of the Virtual Sectoral Forum with special focus on what the Commission’s and Agency’s are doing in respect of consumers, ATCON said.

“We have the following representatives from the angle of those that represent consumers in Nigeria: Prof. Chiso Ndukwe-Okafor, Executive Director, Consumer Advocacy and Empowerment Foundation (CADEF); Mrs Sola Salako Ajulo, President/Founder, Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria (CAFON); Mr. Bayo Olugbemi, FCIB, President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN); and Prince Igho Majemite, Chairman, Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF).”

Other dignitaries to participate in the forum are Chief Adeolu Ogungbanjo, National President, National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS); Mr Rasak Adekoya, Programme Lead, DFID Inclusion Works, Sightsavers; Comrade Moses O Igbrude, Chairman, Consumer Rights Awareness Advancement And Advocacy Initiative (CRAAAI) and Prince (Amb.) Sina Bilesanmi, National President, Association of Telephone Cable Tv and Internet Subscribers of Nigeria (ATCIS).

According to ATCON, the role of these individuals is to give feedback on telecoms and ICT service delivery from the perspective of the consumers to participant at the Sectoral Forum

“Also, we have the following representatives from the angle of those companies that provide telecoms and ICT Services: Mr Biodun Omoniyi, MD/CEO, VDT Communications Limited; Mrs Abimbola Alale, Managing Director, NIGCOMSAT; Prof Muhammad Bello Abubakar, MD/CEO, Galaxy Backbone; Mr Oyaje Idoko, Managing Director, Layer3 Limited; Mr Toba Obaniyi, Vice President, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA); Mr Mohamad Darwish, Managing Director, IHS Nigeria Limited and Mr Abayomi Adebanjo, General Counsel, MainOne Cable Company Nigeria Limited.

“Their role will be to tell us what they are doing to meet the need of consumers as more people come online,” the statement read.

Olusola Teniola, President of ATCON had explained that the Sectoral Forum would address the need of telecom and ICT consumers in the COVID-19 and post COVID-19 pandemic vis-a-vis Digital Economy era with the principal goal of meeting the new broadband target of 70 per cent.

“This time around ATCON is providing a veritable platform for governments, consumers  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 centrality of consumer to the projected growth of the Nigerian telecoms and ICT Sector cannot be overlooked in the area of the needed investment to accelerate the progress of our sector.

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

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