By Martin Ekpeke
A telecommunications enthusiast and Chief Executive Officer of Lagos based MainOne Cable Company, Ms. Funke Opeke has posited that the possible solution to Nigeria’s connectivity challenges is for the country to formulate policies that would encourage infrastructure sharing among operators.
Opeke stated this in an interview with a National Newspaper, stressing that broadband connectivity can only be fast tracked when Nigeria work on infrastructure sharing, create the enabling environment, a relaxed tax environment and reduce regulation.
“In my own opinion, those things that can fast track Nigeria’s move to deepen connectivity include infrastructure sharing, creating the enabling environment, relaxed tax environment, no over regulations, ensure national fibre backbone and license InfraCos,” the CEO of the leading communications services firm asserted.
She added that apart from the above, local content must be built, with data stored locally at data centres, believing that when all these are in place, ICT will impact healthcare, education and transportation.
She argued that broadband connectivity shouldn’t be a telecommunications operators issue alone, but a national development. Thus, the drive for broadband penetration should be an overall economic agenda of the country.
Speaking on ICT investment, Opeke noted that until some of these challenges are addressed, Nigeria would continue to lose investment to other African countries like Kenya and South Africa, as these challenges repel investment. She listed factors such as a harsh economic environment, poor and lack of infrastructure, no ease of doing business metrics, the barriers to entering the ICT and telecoms business in Nigeria are factors militating against investment in Nigeria.