As part of its strategic push to meet the new broadband target of 70 percent in the next five years, the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has decided to organize what it described as a sectoral virtual forum by August 2020.
In a statement issued and signed by Ajibola Olude, Executive Secretary of ATCON, the umbrella body of all telecom professionals in Nigeria, noted that the forum would address the need of telecom and ICT Consumers in the COVID-19 and Post COVID-19 Pandemic cum Digital Economy era.
The statement added that ATCON is providing a veritable platform for Governments, Consumers (corporate and personal) and Telecommunications and ICT Companies to rob minds on how consumers can be better off in terms of effective delivery of telecoms and ICT services and products in Nigeria.
“The centrality of the consumer to the projected growth of the Nigerian telecoms and ICT Sector cannot be overlooked in the area of the needed investment to accelerate the progress of our sector. With the emergence of the digital economy in Nigeria coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, many economic transactions would be done digitally going forward.
“In actualizing this dream of giving Nigerian telecoms and ICT consumers a place in the heart of Governments and Telecoms and ICT Companies, all hands must be on deck in that governments must make laws that encourage further investment into the sector, telecommunications and ICT companies must make consumers satisfaction their priority and the consumers must support the telecoms and ICT companies by requesting the government to relax its exorbitant taxes and levies and telecoms and ICT companies must be able to buy Forex directly from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” the statement read.
It added that the anticipated growth and development of this sector is hinged on the role of the government in terms of regulation and policy directions, the telecom and ICT companies and finally the end-users (consumers).
ATCON that is conventionally committed to the continuous progress of the Nigerian telecoms and ICT Sector plans to use this sectoral forum to proffer lasting solutions as well as galvanize support from the government, telecom companies and the consumers in the era of COVID-19 and Post COVID-19 for Digital Economy Development and increasing the contributions of the sector geometrically to Nigeria’s GDP by considering some of the challenges of these catalysts of development with a view to solving them.
The Sectoral Virtual Forum is scheduled to hold Thursday, August 6, 2020, by 10 am via Zoom (and live on Facebook and other social platforms). All participants are to register through this link https://forms.gle/JVnFApRMF71MSnPf8
Theme “Meeting the Interests of Government, Consumers and Telecom & ICT Companies in the Era of COVID-19 and Post Covid-19 Pandemic for Digital Economy Development”
The strategic objective of this very important sectoral forum is to converge regulator’s Interests -to ensure a competitive telecom market and fast track development of telecom industry; Operator’s Interests – an enabling environment for businesses and protection of investment in the sector; and Consumer’s Interests – to be satisfied in terms of quality of services, affordability and access; for Digital Economy Development.
The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) will constitute the role of the government, all members of ATCON and Players in the industry will constitute the role of the Operators while National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS), Consumer Rights Awareness Advancement And Advocacy Initiative (CRAAAI), Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Nigerian Bar Association, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), National Universities Commission, etc will constitute the role of the consumers.
The interdependence among the government, telecom and ICT Companies and Nigerians are clearly obvious but each of them has limitations and potentials hence the forum would make an attempt to address their limitations and turn them to advantage for the development of Nigerian Telecom and ICT Sector in the era of COVID-19 and Post COVID-19 Pandemic.