The burgeoning growth of Nigeria’s telecom industry is now stalled, no thanks to a number of factors which have conspired to hobble operators and their operations.
At the height of telecom boom, the industry accounted for nearly 10 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but shrinking consumer spending; foreign exchange volatility among others have dealt blow on the industry.
Mr. Olusola Teniola, president, Association of telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), said the downward trend can still be reversed with a drastic change on how the sector is regulated.
He said that reforms in the sector must be all encompassing and address competition, markets and converged services, citing finance, media, technology and telecoms as are currently heavily intertwined.
“A drastic change is required in the manner the industry is regulated by NCC and as the CJN recently noted, the Nigeria Communications Act 2003 is now outdated and needs immediate review to encompass latest regulatory thinking on matters that properly addresses the data centric world that we find ourselves in and propagates a converged regulatory environment focussed on latest technological themes and not just on how voice calls are meant to be regulated”, Mr. Teniola said.
He However said that the clamour for reforms and new policies as panacea to the challenges faced by the industry, requires enabling environment that supports innovation.
Mr. Teniola said “The enabling environment is what industry needs to thrive under any government in power and this current administration is attempting to ensure that this environment is put in place to allow the private sector to contribute the innovative solutions and economic growth that will allow the citizens of the country to benefit from ICT advancements, the efficiencies and productivity that this brings to the growth. On the flip side most the growth in ICT has always been driven by innovation from experts and products and services has always been ahead of policy decision making and will always lead the way as long as we are a nation of consumers of technology.
The ATCON President speaking on trending topic- Data Floor, he said subscribers are important hence “Customers should demand that there are right choices that meets there every day needs and requirements.