How the deployment of broadband could aid the ailing Nigerian economy and place it on the road to recovery would be the focus of experts at this year’s Nigeria ICT Impact CEO Forum NIICF and the Africa Digital Awards ADA, one of the most credible awards in the ICT industry.
A statement signed by the coordinator of the event, Tayo Adewusi, said if Nigeria’s economy must leap frog and “catch up with the rest of the world, broadband deployment can take us there”.
He lamented that ICT is considered as the fastest growing sector in Nigeria, yet data services have not recorded the same growth as voice, while key trends have indicated that demand for these services “is at the roof top”.
However, industry experts have posited that ICT is the next ‘oil and gas’ as such, he explained, this can only be achieved through “an increase in broadband penetration”.
He said: “How do we transport the huge capacity inland? There is an obvious absence of efficient distribution and dearth of last mile connection. However, there has been an appreciable growth in e-commerce and this can be properly harnessed through a significant broadband penetration.”
Adewusi affirmed that broadband is a goldmine and the recovery of Nigeria’s economy is dependent on this goldmine and this would happen through the provision of the “enabling environment”, adding that broadband deployment should be predicated on “availability, affordability, and quality of service delivery”.
He regretted that despite the presence of SAT-3, Main One and Glo 1 international undersea cables, which have brought a glut of fibre capacity on the shores of Nigeria with over 10 Tetrabytes per second (TBS), the country has done poorly in the data market and in broadband penetration.
According to him, the Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, EVC/CEO of Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta as well as the acting DG of NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olatunji would be among the authority speakers that would dissect how broadband deployment could act as a catalyst to jumpstart Nigeria’s ailing economy.
Other speakers that would deliver papers on e-Commerce, media, broadcasting and government include the acting DG of National Broadcasting Commission NBC, Alheri Saidu, Ms. Funke Opeke, MD of Main One, Stanley Jegede, MD of Phase 3 Telecom among others.
Themed, “How Can Broadband Deployment Impact On Nigeria’s Economic Recovery,” the event which would precede the fifth edition of Africa Digital Awards ADA, would honour distinguished corporate organizations and personalities who have leveraged on the potency of information and communication technology ICT.
Expected at the awards are the host Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State and Senator Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State among others.