The Chairman Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, Engineer Gbenga Adebayo has commended the efforts of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami in initiating and driving the country’s Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria Policy.
Engr Adebayo who was speaking on NTA’s Breakfast Show, Good Morning Nigeria, Tuesday, 21st July, expressed the association’s gratitude to the Minister for his various unprecedented interventions in resolving the challenges bedeviling the sector in record time.
He attested to the fact that Dr Pantami had ensured an inclusive engagement as he disclosed that “we as stakeholders, are participating in the implementation of the Digital Economy policy, and we must thank the Honourable Minister for not only driving the policy as it is, but for also ensuring that the work is being done”.
Speaking further on the area of infrastructure, he affirmed that Dr Pantami had scored another first as “he has succeeded after several previous ministers have made many efforts, to reduce the cost of Right of Way (RoW). For the very first time in the history of the country, we now have states providing RoW free of charge. Before now, RoW used to cost as much as 70% of the infrastructure.
On the challenge of security, ALTON noted that the issue of vandalism had over time, been “largely responsible for poor service quality, and high cost of data. But recently again, through the intervention of the Minister, for which we thank him and President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, Telecommunications Infrastructure have been declared Critical National Economic and Security Infrastructure, for which we are enjoying first level protection from government. This will again enhance the implementation of the Policy”.
He expressed confidence that in the next few years, the gains of Dr Pantami’s initiatives and interventions will begin to manifest, in price reduction in cost of data and better quality of service which is anticipated, from the implementation of the National Broadband Plan 2020-2025.
In his response, the Minister thanked the Chairman and the Association for “appreciating our modest efforts in the Ministry and the sector in general.”
Dr Pantami who spoke at length on the Digital Economy Policy, reaffirmed that the ultimate goal of the Digital Economy is to integrate all sectors of the economy into a Digital Economy.
“Meaning that each and every component of our society is integrated into the Digital Economy, from the federal government, to states and Local government levels. Secondly, not just the ICT Sector, including all other Ministries. Integrate education, health, Industry, Trade and Investment into the Digital Economy. To ensure that intergration is not just within the ICT sector, but in all sectors, at all levels”
This according to Dr Pantami, fulfils the 7th pillar of the strategy which is; ‘A Digital Society and Emerging Technologies’.