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Teniola reveals prospects from ATCON’s October 15 national dialogue

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Olusola Teniola, president of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has stated expectations from the association’s national dialogue programme targeted at building the nation’s economy.

As the event inches closer to the D-Day, October 15, 2020, the ATCON President has reaffirmed that the dialogue would do justice to its well-researched theme: “Harnessing the Digital Resources for the Building of our National Economy.”

“This well thought out event, which will now hold on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at NAF Conference Centre Abuja, is positioned to grow the entire sector of the Nigerian economy exponentially.

“Thought leaders in the sector are expected to come up with brilliant ideas as to what the public and private sector can do to maximize the benefits inherent in the digital economy such that the recent fall in Nigeria’s GDP can be reversed.

“The recent Index of Digital Quality of Life positioned Nigeria in the pursuit of digital economy and ranked as 20th position at the beginning of the survey but Nigeria is currently ranked 81st,” Teniola said.

The association has also released the list of individuals who would lead discourse at the conference from a triangular perspective of government authorities, industry players and the consumers of telecoms services in the country.

“We are pleased to announce the confirmation of the following very important personalities to grace the event: Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy; Simon Bako Lalong, Executive Governor, Plateau State; Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, EVC/CEO, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); and Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director-General/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA),” ATCON has revealed.

Other participants expected to address issues from the government perspective include Shubham Chaudhuri, Country Director (Nigeria), World Bank; Segun Ogunsanya, Managing Director/CEO, Airtel Networks; Mr Alan Sinfield, Managing Director/CEO, 9mobile; Mr Trevor Liuyan, CEO, Huawei Nigeria and many others.

Teniola reiterated that the National Dialogue on Telecoms and ICT is targeted at changing the structure of the country’s development through the maximum utilization of digital resources such that Federal Government, State Government and other key stakeholders in the Agriculture, Education, Oil & Gas, Health, Industry, Trade and Investment, Security and Defence Sector would leverage on the outcome of this event to improve their contributions to the nation’s GDP.

“The preposition above is based on effective collaboration amongst the different sectors of the economy as we all know that collaboration is the new competition.

“The supply side which is comprised of Telecom and ICT Companies and the demand side which is made up of all the Ministries, States, Local Governments, Nigerians and Non-Nigerians are expected to have higher level of productivity on the condition that they adopt and leverage on the opportunities presented by the digital economy to improve their output.

“This strategic dialogue plans to bring together the Presidency, National Assembly, relevant Federal Ministries, State Governors, ICT State Commissioners, Telecom and ICT Operating Companies, World Bank and other international relevant agencies,” he said.

OBJECTIVES

The underlining strategic objectives of the proposed National Dialogue are as follows:

  • To intentionally channel collaborative positive efforts toward Nigerian Digital Economy with the sole aim of accelerating our economy’s performance in relation to other leading African countries
  • To serve as a forum to discuss the recently launched documents on Digital Economy and take stakeholders input for implementation.
  • To optimally X-ray the factors that have worked for and against the telecom and ICT sector in Nigeria.
  • To discuss regulations and policies around AI, IoTS and Blockchain and the rest.

PANEL SESSIONS

Thought leaders in the industry have been invited to do justice to the following panel sessions:

  • Digital Economy in Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities
  • Private Public Partnership and Development of Mechanism for the seamless Management of Inter-Ministries and Agencies: an imperative for Broadband Infrastructure Development in Nigeria
  • National Funding and Investment Strategy for Broadband Infrastructure and Digital Economy: The Importance of Education and Awareness
  • Regulation on Emerging Technologies (AI, IoT, Robotics, Blockchain, etc): Leveraging on Nigerian Young Population’s Innovation and Creativity for National Development

DISCURSSANTS

There shall be a special sectoral discussion tagged “Harnessing Digital Resources for Sectoral Effectiveness and Efficiency for National Development”

The special session discussants are:

  • Mallam Adamu Adamu, Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Education
  • Dr Osagie Ehanire, Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Health
  • Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono, Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Major GeneralBashir Salihi Magashi (Rtd), Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Defence
  • Chief Timipre Sylva, Honourable Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources
  • Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo CON, Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment
  • Alhaji Muhammad Musa Bello, Honourable Minister, Federal Capital Territory Administration
  • Mr Rotimi Ameachi, Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Transportation
  • Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing

The ATCON President further stated that one of the overriding deliverables of this national dialogue on telecoms and ICT sector is that the adoption of digital resources by all aforementioned sectors would lead to development which would eventually make Nigeria to join the league of the top 20 global economies.

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