Advancing ICT Industry, a Collective Responsibility, Says Minister of Communications

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By: Joy Odor/Abuja

The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami has said that the task of expanding the frontiers of growth in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry is a collective responsibility requiring active collaboration of the Ministry with its agencies and industry stakeholders.

Hon. Pantami stated this during a special reception hosted in his honour by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in Abuja on Thursday 12th of December 2019.

The Minister pledged his commitment to work with all stakeholders in the sector with their support, suggestions and constructive criticisms wherever necessary to promote the growth of the sector for the betterment of all Nigerians.

According to him, he has presented some of the challenges and concerns facing the telecommunications sector to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for necessary actions.

Hon. Pantami called for collaborations of all stakeholders in telecommunications sector to enhance the growth of the subsector and entire ICT industry.

While responding to presentations focused on key industry issues requiring his attention by ATCON, the Hon. Minister said actions have been taken towards resolving the issues for the development of the industry.

“Most of the issues raised were familiar issues as they had been brought before me earlier and I can assure you that actions are being taken towards resolving those issues for the development of the industry.

“More importantly, I would like all of you to join hands with the Ministry and its agencies to see how to take our industry forward.

“Let me be the first to be contacted for any problem in the industry.

“Furthermore, I want to pledge my commitment to work with all stakeholders in the sector and ask for their support, suggestions and constructive criticisms wherever necessary, in order to promote the growth of the sector for the betterment of all Nigerians,” he said.

Hon. Pantami also proposed a periodic meeting of the Ministry and its agencies, associations and captains in the industry to regularly review issues and progress made in the industry.

The Minister noted that the reception has provided a platform for all industry stakeholders to be on the same page with regards to the need to work together towards advancing the frontier of the ICT industry.

Earlier in his welcome address, the President of ATCON, Mr Olusola Teniola said the idea of the reception was conceived to achieve three objectives.

They are to formally present and introduce the Minister to the captains of the industry, to give the industry the opportunity to meet with him and share experiences on the state of the industry and where ATCON expect the industry to be after the Minister’s tenure, as well as to offer the Minister the opportunity to share his vision for the industry with the relevant stakeholders.

Mr Teniola promised that ATCON is willing and ready to work with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy to understand how they can shape, mould and create an industry.

According to him, this would attract huge investments and create the environment where innovation creates a fitting eco-system for both the smaller and larger operators to co-exist, create positive shareholder’s value and deliver a consumer experience that exceeds expectations.

He was of the opinion that collaboration remains a critical factor in the success equation of the industry.

Prominent personalities at the event include Musa Fuktur Istifanus, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy; Prof. Umar Danbata, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Kashifu Abdullahi, Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agencies (NITDA); and Dr. Abimbola Alale, Managing Director, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT).

Other key personalities at the reception to honour the Minister include Yusuf Kazaure, Managing Director/CEO, Galaxy Backbone Limited; Adebisi Adegbuyi, Postmaster-General of the Federation and CEO Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST); Ayuba Shuaibu, Acting Executive Secretary, Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Directors from various agencies in the Ministry and its agencies, ATCON executive members, CEOs of telecommunication companies, and other industry stakeholders.

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