Nigeria is expected to leverage on the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecom World 2017, to increase the current Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs), put at over 70 per cent in the telecommunications sector.
According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the participation of Nigeria at the conference scheduled for Busan, South Korea, from September 25 to 28, would to a larger extent connect the country to investors.
NCC hinted that since 2001 when it issued Digital Mobile Licences (DML), Nigeria has witnessed multiplier effects in social and economic development.
The Commission claimed that telecommunications services are now available to everyone unlike the pre-GSM era when only 500,000 lines were available to a population of nearly 90 million from an investment profile of about $50million. Teledensity was about 0.01 per cent. Internet connectivity was a nightmare. But the story has since changed.
“There are over 150 million active subscribers now. Internet connections are over 90 million; Teledensity is well over 100 per cent. There is over $80billion invested in the sector so far with over 70 per cent of it as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
“Nigeria’s robust telecommunications regulatory environment, guarantee of Returns On Investment (ROI), and investors renewed confidence in the fast growing sector will form part of the country’s narrative at the ITU Telecom World 2017,” said NCC Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo.
Ojobo said as Nigeria’s delegation berths in South Korea, the narrative will be endearing as the country beckons on more investors especially in broadband Internet.
According to him, existing and potential investors will want to hear the cherry news of a robust regulatory agency – the NCC, which has carried out its regulatory functions in line with global best practices, stakeholders’ engagement, and a host of others.
The Commission informed that Minister of Communications, Abdulraheem Adebayo Shittu, will lead the country’s delegation, which will include the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of NCC, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye; Chief regulator and Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta; key industry leaders and players and many others.
NCC disclosed that the ITU Telecom World 2017, is a global platform for major industry players, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), countries and organisations to network and share ideas about new developments and technologies that would lead to better connected societies.
“It is an event for International visibility of innovative Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Products/Services and solutions from around the World. In general terms, it involves high level debates on the core issues affecting ICT industry, sharing knowledge and working for sustainable development.
“Although Nigeria has had a very robust telecommunications sector with active connected subscribers in the region of 150million and about 110 per cent teledensity, the NCC believes that more efforts should be deployed to deepen broadband penetration.”
By the National Broadband Plan, NBP (2013-2018) the country is expected to attain 30 per cent broadband penetration by 2018, which currently stands at 21 per cent.
Nigeria will host an investment forum at the ITU, and Broadband Nigeria will be at the focus of discussions.