NCC eyes new investment with ITU World 2016 forum

Vice President, Etisalat,  Ibrahim Dikko (left); Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications, Arch. Sonny Echono; Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NigComSat, Abimbola Alale, during the ITU Telecom World 2016 Stakeholders’ Forum in Lagos on Monday.

Vice President, Etisalat,  Ibrahim Dikko (left); Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications, Arch. Sonny Echono; Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NigComSat, Abimbola Alale, during the ITU Telecom World 2016 Stakeholders’ Forum in Lagos on Monday.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has urged players in the nation’s telecoms industry to participate actively in the forthcoming International Telecoms Union (ITU) Telecoms World 2016, even as it is set to woo foreign investors to boost telcoms Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Nigeria beyond its current $35 billion.

The Commission stated this during a stakeholders forum organised preparatory to Nigeria’s participation at the global ICT event holding in Bangkok, Thailand, in October.

Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umaru Danbatta, while speaking to ICT players on how to ensure maximum participation at the global telecom event disclosed, yesterday in Lagos, that greater investment was needed in the telecoms industry, especially in the area of broadband development.

“So far, we have increased our FDI from less than $500 million in 2001 to over $35 billion currently. Local investors have, as well, invested billions of dollars into the sector,” he said.

While galvanising the information and communications technology (ICT) stakeholders to seek fresh investment vistas at the forthcoming International Telecommunications Union , ITU World 2016 coming

Informing participants to take up the opportunity to exhibit at the Nigerian Pavilion at the ITU World 2016 which holds on November 14-17 with the theme: Smart Communities: the key to a digital Nigeria, he urged them to avail themselves of the Nigeria Investment Session, forum discussions, showcase their indigenous innovations and the SME/Young Innovators Hub.

Noting that the ICT sector has recorded very significant growth in the last 15 years from 500,000 active lines to the current 157 million with teledensity presently at 107 per cent, he said Internet connectivity has as well moved from 50,000 in the year 2001 to 97 million at the moment.

Danbatta who urged the ICT stakeholders to work with the Commission to elevate the standards set in the industry said: “We are here to restrategise on how we can attract more meaningful investments into our country. We are here to fine-tune our story about the growth and attraction of our sector.

“We are here to think of ways to convince would be investors on the potentials and capacity of our country.”

The telecom regulator, who informed that the forum was to agree on the future growth of the telecom industry, said “Several investors have been here and many more are on their way. We will tell them that Nigeria is safe for investors and return on investment (ROI) is assured. We will tell them that our regulatory processes are open, effective and transparent.”

Permanent Secretary, ministry of Communication, Arch. Sunny Echelor, who represented the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, called for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to give the event a befitting participation, showcase their Nigerian innovations, products and services and attract new markets for their businesses.

Vice President, Etisalat, Ibrahim Dikko, said the global event “is a once in a lifetime opportunity to tell the outside world that Nigeria telecom sector still has untapped potentials waiting to be exploited in the areas of broadband, spectrum licensing, huge human capital in software entrepreneurship, among others.”

Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the Nigeria participation at the forthcoming global event, Austine Nwaulune, said the Committee would was working tooth and nail and would leave no stone unturned to ensure that participation by stakeholders was seamless.

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