The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is galvanising the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) stakeholders to seek fresh investment vistas at the forthcoming International Telecommunications Union (ITU) World 2016 coming up in Bangkok, Thailand just as the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the sector has climbed to $35 billion.
Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Professor Umaru Danbatta while speaking to the ICT players on how to ensure maximum participation at the global telecom event disclosed in Lagos, yesterday, that local investors have as well invested billions of dollars into the sector.
Informing participants to take up the opportunity to exhibit at the Nigerian Pavilion at the ITU World 2016 which holds onNovember 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.”
Arch. Sunny Echelor, permanent secretary, ministry of communications who represented the Barr. Adebayo Shittu, minister of communication 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.
Ibrahim Dikko, vice president, Etisalat 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.