BY: Chisom ADA
“We are very grateful to the Honourable Minister, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami for steering the industry in the right direction”, President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr Olusola Teniola has said.
Mr Teniola made this assertion today while making his remarks as the Chief Host during the ATCON sectorial virtual forum with the theme “Meeting the Interests of Government, Consumers and Telecom and ICT Companies in the Era of COVID-19 and Post COVID-19 Pandemic for Digital Economy Development”.
In his keynote address, the result-oriented Minister, stated that President Muhammadu Buhari has been very supportive in accelerating the development of Nigeria’s Digital Economy.
Dr Pantami also informed the stakeholders who participated at the event that under the administration of President Buhari, promoting a digital economy has become a key priority.
He said the President also approved the request of the ministry and re-designated the Federal Ministry of Communications as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and further expanded the Mandate of the Ministry which led to the development of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS).
The NDEPS was also unveiled and launched by him in person.
Dr Pantami also listed some of the steps championed by him and taken by the government to protect ICT telecoms investments such as the protection of telecom infrastructures against vandalism; addressing the challenges of Right of Way levy and multiple taxations; reviewing all taxes being collected from the operators and working on policies that will give priorities and preferences to indigenous contents and experts inline the Executive Orders 003 and 005.
Pantami stressed on the need to strike a balance between protecting the interest of the citizens (consumers) and the investors (ICT/ Telecom Companies).
He called on the forum to look into the quality of service being provided by the telecom operators as most consumers complain about poor quality of service; review the price of data; increase broadband penetration and always be fair and just to all consumers, maintaining that the customer is king.