In continuation of Techeconomy’s agenda setting series for Dr Bosun Tijani, the newly appointed Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, today we are focusing on the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON’s) expectations.
In a response to Techeconomy’s inquiry, Mr. Tony Izuagbe Emoekpere, the President ATCON said the members welcome Dr. Tijani’s appointment as the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy.
ATCON is a professional, non-profit, non-political umbrella organization of telecommunications companies in Nigeria.
According to its president, “It is encouraging that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu appointed a person with an IT background to the post and the fact that he is relatively young shows that a dynamic approach to the industry is being targeted.
“Of note also is the addition of “Innovation” to the title of the Ministry. It is a further pointer to the direction the current government intends to take in the communication industry. Considering one of the promises of a million digital jobs, a lot of innovation is truly required.
ATCON’s Agenda for the Minister
On areas of focus, Emoekpere said there are still fundamental challenges facing the industry especially at the physical layer – infrastructure, which if unresolved will not allow success in the application layers where most of the digital jobs reside.
“There is great need to develop, secure and enable further expansion of communication infrastructure in the country.
“With a solid Infrastructure Base, Innovative Digital Services which can take advantage of the growing Digital Economy can be further developed and expanded to all areas of the country especially the unserved and underserved areas”, he said.
Emoekpere highlighted issues ranging from funding, security and permits still bedevil the industry although several strides have been made especially by the regulating bodies chiefly the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) as well as now the National Data Protection Commission (NDPC).
Some areas to focus include
1. Creation of special FX window for operators in the industry
2. Passing into Act Critical National Infrastructure Bill
3. Implementation of agreement on Right of Way
4. Multiple Taxation / Regulation
The success of the new Minister is our success. A recommendation is to constitute an Industry Think Tank Team to help him fast track growth and development in the sector.
The ATCON president reminded Bosun Tijani that he needs expertise of industry Associations to embark on projects, and programmes that would speed up the growth, efficiency and effectiveness of the Nigerian Telecom and ICT Sector.
The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), is poised and ready to work with the Honourable Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy to make his tenure impactful and we wish him success.
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